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ISL 2017: John Gregory - We can play better but it is all about results in the end

21:21 GMT+3 07/12/2017
John Gregory Chennaiyin
Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory was happy to win three points in a closely fought match against ATK..

A brace from Jeje Lalpekhlua helped Chennaiyin clinch a five-goal thriller against defending champions ATK on Thursday. In a second-half goal fest, it was Jeje's late strike that sealed full three points for the home team.

Chennaiyin coach John Gregory started the post-match press conference by paying tribute to a former groundsman who passed away last week. “Pre-match, we had a minute's silence for our former groundsman Rajeev who passed away last week. We dedicate this win to him and his memory. He did an amazing job here on this ground and he is going to be sorely missed.,” said Gregory.

The gaffer was asked if he was worried that the goals came so late in the game. He replied, “I am not concerned at all by late goals. We came on the back of a very tough game at Pune. We still kept going, right till the end. ATK had more rest than us and they have some outstanding footballers. They have a very good team. Their position in the league is false at the moment. He might be a different team when they get a win.”

On ATK’s performance and Robbie Keane, Gregory opined, “Robbie Keane made an impact when he came on. They will be challenging once he gets match fit. We never gave up and got in front twice and gave it away twice. But we were never happy with a point and obviously delighted with Jeje's goals.”

It took Chennaiyin 65 minutes to break the deadlock today. On the goalless first-half, Gregory said, “It was frustrating in the first half. There was a lot of expectation and tension in the team. We needed to use the ball better. A lot of that is down to myself. Maybe, I need to improve that aspect of the game in the training. I was happy to come in at 0-0 at half-time.

“We can play better but it is all about results at the end of the game. We had to make a couple of changes and the boys that came in had an impact. Our team is a close-knit outfit and that was evident when we scored the third goal. I'm not going to apologise for my celebration too.”

The Super Machans boss confirmed that Raphael Augusto was dropped from the squad due to an injury. “Raphael Augusto is carrying a knock. He has not been at 100% from the start of the season. He has played very well in the three games so far and we decided to give him a rest tonight. He will be up for contention against Mumbai City.”

Jeje celebrated his goals in his trademark 'sniper' style and the coach was amused. “His (Jeje) sniper impression was lovely to see. Hopefully, I can see it again. It was the first time I was seeing it live. He has been playing very well for us. We make him work a little bit harder than previous seasons. He has been doing that exceptionally well and he got his rewards,” said Gregory.