Both teams will seek the winning momentum after disappointing results in their respective first outings.
Chennaiyin FC host NorthEast United in an Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday. With both teams coming into the game on the back of disappointing results on opening day, the managers are looking to get that all-important first win on the board and they met the press earlier today.
Both the coaches are new to the league and having played their first match just days ago it’s a quick turnaround. Both the teams haven’t performed to their fullest potential yet and so far we could only see glimpses of what they’re capable of. This clash promises to be quite exciting for the neutrals. With both the squads at full strength the game will be a closely contested one.
“First thing you want to do after a loss is to get back on the field and correct the performance from Sunday. It can’t come quick enough for most of us and we can’t wait to get back on the field and make up for lost time,” said Chennaiyin boss John Gregory.
As for the players who are available for selection Gregory said, “Germanpreet is fit. He’s had a knock and he’s recovered and back to training.”
The Englishman mentioned that Raphael Augusto was battered at the end of Sunday’s game against Goa. “If you ever ask Augusto if he’s fit enough to play his answer is always yes. He’s a bit of a warrior. He was a bit battered and bruised but he’s fine and he’s training and he’s available for selection tomorrow.”
The Chennai boss also spoke highly of his opponents, “Any team can beat anyone on any given day. Sometimes they are erratic and sometimes they’re brilliant but that’s just the ISL in a nutshell. We saw bits of their play where we think it might be their weakness. They deliver good set-pieces as well, but it’s a tough game for us. Going out tomorrow my team will have a good idea. NorthEast will be a tough nut to crack.
Reflecting on their performance on Sunday he was quite happy with the way they came out in the second half. “I wasn’t happy with the formation for the first 45. We looked much better in the second half. I was much happier going forward in the second half and as for tomorrow, you have to wait and see.”
Let’s see if it’s possible to reach where we didn’t reach yet- Joao Carlos Pires de Deus
The Highlanders manager Joao Carlos Pires de Deus was asked if the plethora of chances and the lack of goals in their previous match was an issue. ”We had a lot of chances and we didn’t score. For us, that is not a problem because we know how to reach there. Come the end of the season, NorthEast United FC will have the league’s top scorer.”
Talking about tomorrow’s opponents he said, “I like the concept of the team and it was their first match so they will improve with practice and knowledge. The players are going to learn from each other and the coach and in two or three months it’s going to be completely different.”
With respect to the squad the coach was pretty happy with how his team is setup. “Rowlin Borges practiced today and everybody is fit to play tomorrow’s game.”
The Portuguese coach was then asked how he sees his future with the club to which he sounded very optimistic and full of promise. “We have a good team this year. I wasn’t here the last few years and I’m not going to speak about the past. I’m here to speak about the present and future, and the present is what you saw last match and we will improve. I hope we have a good tournament and let’s see if it’s possible to reach where we didn’t reach yet.”