Josep Gombau hopeful of a win, John Gregory aims for playoffs
Written by: Tushaar Sachdeva
The Marina Machans have managed just a single win against the Lions over the years.
After a difficult start to the season, Delhi Dynamos are in turmoil and now face a stiff challenge at the den against Chennaiyin FC. The days are not good for the capital-based side, as their last win came in February this year. Chennaiyin have a similar story to tell, having conceded eight goals and with zero points to show from their first three games.
Currently, the Lions are in eighth place in the table, while the reigning champions are rock bottom.
Josep Gombau (Delhi Dynamos)
Talking before the match, the Delhi Dynamos boss Josep Gombau was upbeat despite the significance of the game and pointed out that his team are set to play their third game in nine days. "The squad is progressing well and we are playing the Spanish style that I like,” he said.
“I think we are growing. We are a new team and we are trying to play a style of football that won’t happen in one day," Gombau quipped.
"Game-by-game we are progressing. We are playing good football, creating chances. The boys are working hard and I am hopeful of winning the game,” said the tactician reflecting on the mood in the camp.
Andrija Kaluderovic scored the equalizer against Kerala Blasters in their last game and according to the Spaniard the goal had a great impact on the team. “Hopefully he will continue now and keep his form going," Gombau said.
Marcos Tebar has missed two games due to a hamstring injury, forcing the coach to play Shubham Sarangi in the first and Gianni Zuverlianni in the second in his place. However, he insisted that the inclusion of Gianni in that role paid off and that players should be versatile. “Last time we were missing Tebar, so we tried Gianni and he did really well. I’m happy with his performance. I hope Tebar will be fit in time for this game,” the Spaniard asserted.
“Conceding four goals in three games is extremely normal and I think the problem is with our midfield with ball possession. We are trying to improve and make sure we don’t concede goals."
"It is not one person’s fault. It is a team fault. We win together and lose together,” Gombau concluded on a good note being hopeful for the game on Tuesday.
John Gregory (Chennaiyin FC)
Having incurred defeats in each of the starting three fixtures, John Gregory walks into the Den to face the Dynamos. “Playing against Delhi, we'll be facing two of our old boys in Bikramjit and Rene who have two gold medals. It will be a big challenge again.”
“You can always look at the reason why we have not started so well. But, the effort that the boys have put in for all three matches is incredible. I certainly have no problems with the way that they have approached the games. It is just that we have made a couple of defensive mistakes. Big mistakes, which we rarely made last season in the 18 regular season matches,” explained Gregory.
The coach, speaking on their errors in the previous game said, ”I don’t know what’s going wrong. We saw on the videotapes and we made genuine errors, mistakes and it is making other people aware of it. It allows the opportunity for others to study us.”
Gregory had some interesting thoughts on the loss to FC Goa
“The people not marking when they should be marking, people not concentrating when they be concentrating, giving opportunities to the opposition and they take advantage of it," he elaborated.
"It doesn’t matter now. Our target, just like last season, is to make the playoffs and that doesn't change. It is still early days and our challengers are in touching distance,” the Englishmen continued on an optimistic note.
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Gregory stated Thoi’s second goal was the best of the game
Every player in the squad is available with Bikramjit Singh, Marcos Tebar and Daniel Lahlimpuia all expected to feature post the completion of their rehabilitation.
No major injuries to any player, bar the long-term absentee in Dhanpal Ganesh.
Karanjit, Inigo, Mailson, Sabia, Jerry, Thapa, Issac, Francis, Raphael, Nelson, Jeje.
Did You Know?
- Currently, Delhi are on a drought of wins, having last won against Mumbai City FC in February this year.
- It has always been a high scoring affair between Delhi and Chennai as the two teams have scored 29 goals in 8 games – averaging 3.6 goals per game.
- Chennaiyin have won just a single game against the Dynamos. The game ended 4-0 in Chennai in November 2015.
The match will take place on Tuesday at 7:30 PM at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. On television, the match will be live on Star Sports. Meanwhile, it will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.