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Chennaiyin v ATK

ISL 2019-20: Chennaiyin desperate for a win against five-star ATK

3:22 PM GMT+4 29/10/2019
John Gregory
The Chennaiyin gaffer wants to bag three points at all costs against ATK...

After a disappointing 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL) season, Chennaiyin are off to a stuttering start this season as well.

After getting outclassed by FC Goa in their opener, they were held to a goalless draw by Mumbai City in their second match. With just a point on the board after two matches, John Gregory wants to clinch the three points when they host ATK on Wednesday evening at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. 

"I’ll just be happy if we win. The scoreline doesn’t matter. If we get a clean sheet and win 1-0, I'd be delighted. We’re not a side that has had many high scoring games. I want it to be exciting but ultimately we want to win," mentioned the head coach. 

The Marina Machans are yet to find the net after 180 minutes of football which has given rise to serious concerns over their attacking prowess. But Gregory did not seem to be too worried about the form of his strikers. 

"We did everything but score the other night. We had a lot of chances. We had 18 shots on goal. Not all on target but we certainly had the opportunities to score. I am bewildered that we did not score when we created a lot of chances. There were periods last year where we were not even creating chances. We are creating chances now though. 

"ATK had an amazing victory the other night. They scored with every chance they had. With Williams and Krishna, they are difficult to keep quiet. They come from the A-League where they have done particularly well. But we are confident going into the match.  We need to be careful with the pace Williams and Krishna have. We have to be careful we do not give the linesmen decisions to make."

The former Aston Villa coach had hit out against referee Pranjal Banerjee after his side was denied a penalty against FC Goa and he continued to criticise the standard of refereeing in ISL.

"I thought Hyderabad were unlucky they didn’t get a lot of decisions from the officials. A couple of their goals were dicey - onside/ offside. It is something that happens a lot in India. Last night, there were a couple of incidents where the decisions were not right. There was an incident where a player was inside his own half and was given offside," opined Gregory, who also informed that he has a full squad at his disposal to pick from as both Rafael Crivellaro and Germanpreet Singh are back in training. 

He also added, "Many of the players are new to the club and are new to Indian football. Some may have underestimated the tempo of the game and the ability of the opposition. The likes of Anirudh Thapa, Rafael, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Dragos Firtulescu are the creative players and they must stay in the game at all times. All four drifted out a bit against Mumbai and we can’t have that happening again. Games always ebb and flows," concluded the 65-year old manager.