ISL 2019-20: Chennaiyin FC's John Gregory - I don't want to repeat what happened last season

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John Gregory
The Chennaiyin FC boss wants to pick up their first win of the season against 'rivals' Bengaluru FC...

John Gregory has admitted that the onus is on him to get Chennaiyin FC back on track after their dismal performance in the Indian Super League (ISL) last season.

The Marina Machans are to face Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru, on Sunday, with just a point after first three matches.

"We (Chennaiyin) made a very big change to our playing style. We have changed six of our seven foreigners. I think we can always take some happiness from the way the players have played in the last two matches (against Mumbai City FC and ATK). We didn't get enough of the results in the last season and we started this season in a similar fashion. 

"It's a big concern for me because ultimately the responsibility is mine to get points on the board. I don't want to repeat what happened in the last season," Gregory stated.

The 65-year-old feels that Bengaluru FC are in a similar situation having failed to pick a point in three matches and insisted that he is satisfied with his side's performance.

"I saw BFC's game against Jamshedpur and they seemed to be winning by 4-0 in the first half - they had many chances - and that's been very much how we have been, particularly in the last two matches. From that point of view, I am relatively happy that we have been creating chances but we just haven't been taking those chances.

"We actually played very well, especially in the last two home matches we had 40 shots in two games, 20 in each game, and we know that we should have scored. We should have really got six points in those two games.  Ultimately, we can really play fantastically week after week but winning is the most important thing and we haven't got three points as yet."

John Gregory rates the rivalry between the two clubs quite highly and made his intentions clear with regard to having the last laugh in Bengaluru.

"The rivalry between the two teams has been very strong since BFC came into the league in 2017. Our fans and BFC fans enjoy this game because there is a lot at stake, and obviously because whichever team wins gets an opportunity to make fun of the other team.

"We admire what BFC achieved last season. We would like our first victory of the season and there is no better place than get it here (Bengaluru). It's a little bit more than just a football match," he said.

Asked for an update on Jeje Lalpekhlua, the Chennaiyin coach replied, "Month by month, he (Jeje) has improved. He has come back to the training field but we still need a clearance from the medical team for him to return to full training. He is probably four weeks away from really being considered."