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ISL 2018-19: Chennaiyin's John Gregory - Jeje Lalpekhlua would have been picked if he had been scoring regularly

6:01 PM GMT 06/12/2018
John Gregory Chennaiyin FC ATK ISL 2018-19
It was a case of missed chances again for Chennaiyin...

Chennaiyin head coach John Gregory rued his team's inability convert chances into goals against Mumbai City in their 0-2 loss on Thursday at the Mumbai Football Arena. 

After having gone down to goals from Modou Sougou and Raynier Fernandes despite creating chances of their own at the other end, Gregory said," Mumbai City has one shot in the first half and scored. We had a huge amount of possession and had lots of chances, we didn't take them. It has been the story of our season. We haven’t scored the goals.

"Mumbai took their chances and we didn’t. The effort was there as always from the players but we were not good enough."

Jeje Lalpekhlua has been in poor form this season and has drawn a blank in all 10 matches. When quizzed about the Indian international's omission from the first team. Gregory retorted, "You will always bring up someone not playing if you don’t win. That’s a normal journalist approach.

"Consequently, I chose Carlos Salom to play as the main striker and I thought he worked tirelessly, was a real problem for the Mumbai defence but he hasn’t scored. He is in the team to score. If Jeje had been scoring regularly, he would have been in the starting lineup."

The English coach joined a growing list of coaches who have ridiculed the ISL's fixture schedule.

"We have also had four games in 12 days. It is such a demanding schedule, it is a ridiculous schedule to expect us to play at such a high level over the course of those 12 days.

"We had it thrown at us last year and we managed to deal with it better. In February, we had five matches in 17 days. This year, we have not come through very well in this little segment of matches. I echo the NorthEast United coach’s (Eelco Schattorie) comments about the schedule that they faced and that Delhi Dynamos have faced. It has not been easy for us. No excuses, we had chances to win the game and we should have done it."

The coach also lamented the first goal conceded by his goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh against Mumbai. Raynier Fernandes' weak shot from the edge of the box rolled past the goalie who was slightly out of position. 

"100 per cent, I did not get expect him to get beaten from that distance, I really did not. I will defend up my players to the hill, yes, but I did not expect them to score from that particular effort."