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Lobera expresses disappointment over loss, Gregory praises his players

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The Gaurs have now gone four games without a win.

FC Goa were beaten 1 – 0 by Chennaiyin FC in front of their home fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 on Thursday. Inigo Calderon’s goal secured all three points for the visitors as the Gaurs were subject to some bad luck which prevented them from scoring on more than one occasion. The win leaves Goa with only one point to show from their previous four fixtures, and speaking to the media during the post-match press conference was their head coach, Sergio Lobera.

The Spaniard shared his disappointment at the loss, insisting that the result was one that they did not deserve. “I sincerely think that we deserved a lot more. Today football has been unjust with us. Even last week when we lost, I thought it was unjust. The team did everything they could to equalise in the second half.”

He also added, “We had a lot of opportunities on goal, some very clear ones. But the ball did not go in. However, I will remember the effort of the team to still chase the game despite being behind in the score-line.”

After picking up just a point from a possible 12, the Gaurs’ chances of making the playoffs have been dented. However, Lobera remained upbeat regarding the same. “It’s obvious that despite just a point in our last four games, we still continue to depend on ourselves,” the 41-year-old explained. “We have five points less than Jamshedpur FC at this point, with a game in hand. And we have to play against them as well. So, till now we still depend on ourselves.”

However, he was also wary of making more mistakes and concluded by issuing a rallying cry to his players, “This is our last opportunity. We cannot make any more mistakes. The four games that remain are four finals for us.”


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Chennaiyin FC beat FC Goa 1 – 0 in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Thursday. Inigo Calderon was at the right place at the right time to secure the win for the 2015 Hero ISL champions in a match where the visitors rode their luck often. The win places Chennaiyin third in the standings and addressing the media during the post-match press conference was their head coach John Gregory.

He began by praising the opponents for their stellar and tireless performance on the night. “I think it was pretty evident that the home team are an outstanding footballing team,” Gregory stated. “If we were to try and go chase the ball, we would be running around all night trying to get it because they keep the ball very well. From their goalkeeper to their defenders, they have some outstanding footballers. They pass the ball pretty well, they support each other all over the pitch.”

The Englishman then shared the strategy Chennai adopted to get the better of the Gaurs. “Basically, we were quite happy to sit back in our half for the majority of the game and hope that we just get something on a counter-attack maybe or from a set-piece,” he revealed. “Because if we try to match Goa man for man, they play football possibly better than us. They are possibly one of the best football teams in the Hero ISL. So, we just had to make sure we try and keep a clean sheet. We have done it twice against Pune this season, and at Jamshedpur. We managed to win at Bengaluru. So, we have won at some really difficult places this year.”

The 55-year-old was all-praise for his players who worked their heart out to grind out the result. “I’ll put nothing past my group of players,” Gregory said. “They are a fantastic bunch. They work exceptionally hard for one another as we saw tonight. There is a tremendous team spirit amongst them. Everybody plays a part. And the boys that came off the bench did a good job for us well.”

He, however, did admit that his team was lucky to get the win. “We rode our luck a little, but we got away with it,” Gregory said. “We haven’t had a great deal of luck in the last few weeks. So, maybe it came back to us a little tonight.”

The goal was credited to Inigo Calderon and Gregory highlighted the important role he has played for the team. “He (Calderon) was there (to score), that’s it,” he said. “He enjoys getting forward into the penalty area at the other end. He’s scored three goals for us this season, including one against Goa in our home match early on this season.”

Published: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:50 PM IST

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