I-League: Akbar Nawas - East Bengal only played long ball behind our defence

Akbar Nawas Chennai City FC I-League 2018-19
AIFF Media
The Singaporean coach warned his players to keep their focus ahead of their next tie against Aizawl FC....

Chennai City FC completed the double over East Bengal as they downed them 2-1 at Coimbatore on Monday evening. The home side now enjoy a eight point advantage over the Red and Gold brigade who do have a game in hand.

Coach Akbar Nawas didn’t pay much heed to the talks around them being the firm favourites to clinch the league title.

“Like we said before, we are not looking at the table. We want to compete in every game. No point in this victory if we put up a shabby performance against Aizawl. We have to be competitive and let us see where we end after 20 matches,” he said.

However, Nawas did take a dig at Alejandro Menendez’s tactics as the opposition didn’t trouble Chennai after a bright start which saw them take the lead.

“East Bengal had one only plan today i.e. to throw the ball long behind our defence. They know we pour a lot of men forward in attack and so they came out with only one plan. So what we did was to be more cautious in our second ball retention. Then we had to counter their counter. The two goals we scored was due to us playing the ball around and sticking to our philosophy,” he explained.

Pedro Manzi and Romario scored the two goals however, Nawas hailed his Indann contingent as well for putting in a splendid performance.

“I won't segregate between the locals and the foreigners. I believe they have their own strengths and weaknesses and everybody played according to their roles. They compliment each other very well. The second goal was due to clever movement. Pravitto (Raju) going out and Romario coming in and then he scored. All this they have been doing judiciously in training,” he elaborated.

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“I tell them to keep their feet on the ground. We have to take some positives from our performance which we can take to the next game. We have our video analyst which wll help them where we can improve. They refuse to be beaten in training and they bring that same attitude in the match,” he pointed.

Chennai are next in action on Friday against Aizawl FC on home soil.