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We deserved to win-Chennaiyin FC Assistant Coach Syed Sabir Pasha

The Machans have only one win at home this season...


Chennaiyin dropped two valuable points after dominating for long stretches as they conceded a late long-range stunner from Leo Costa to draw 1-1 with Mumbai City at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Wednesday night. With Marco Materazzi suspended, his understudy and Chennai’s own Syed Sabir Pasha addressed the media after the disappointing draw.

Players were visibly frustrated after looking the better side throughout the game. The former Indian Bank manager admitted the same, stating they were unfortunate not to claim maximum points in front of the Marina Arena faithful. He even lauded their mentality despite his personnel lacking concentration and motive in the dying stages of the game.

“The players were really disappointed because after giving such a big show, you know that we deserved to have all three points,” stated Pasha. “It was really unlucky for them, but I think they showed in their game that they’re winners.”

Chennaiyin made a few changes to the squad, with Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Thoi Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, and Maurizio Peluso all being handed rare starts in Materazzi’s absence. Asked if the squad and tactics were pre-planned, he stated that the Italian manager had laid out the plans for the City game days in advance.

“We’ve been seeing Mumbai,” revealed Pasha. “Marco has been seeing Mumbai. He has planned a long back how to play with Mumbai, so it’s his decision [to use this formation]. He knows how Mumbai plays. We’ve seen so many [Mumbai] matches; we’ve been watching the videos. If you had seen the game, you could see we were on target.”

Highlighting the need for winning home matches to boost their chances of making the semi-finals, he boldly announced that the Blues should now be atop the Indian Super League standings instead of sitting three places behind the table toppers Atletico de Kolkata at fourth.

‘We are such a good side,” claimed the former Indian international. “We’re doing very good. We deserve to be at the top of the table. It’s unfortunate that we are in this position. It’s not bad. It’s still not late. I think the way we are playing if we can carry on with that we have a great chance to advance to the semifinals.”

Starting the game, Jeje scored the only goal for the Blues after playing only a bit-part role in the 0-0 draw with Kerala Blasters. Quizzed about Jeje’s prominence, he branded him as a great talent and lauded Materazzi’s way of handling his players.

“Jeje is a great talent, and India are fortunate to have him,” said Pasha. “Marco is using him in a great way; he knows when to put him and when to get his best out. Whenever Marco fields him, you see that he performs. That’s the talent of the coach, and that’s the talent of the player. Jeje delivers whenever Marco wants. He’s been put by Marco when he wants. The combination is right, and he’s doing great for the country as well as for the club. He’s a great talent, who has a long way to go.”

Chennaiyin now travel to Delhi as they on November 9 take on Delhi Dynamos, a team that handed them their worst defeat of the campaign when they vanquished them 3-1 at Chennaiyin’s turf.


Photo © ISL Media


Report by Khel Now Correspondent from Chennai Praveen Paramasivan.






Published: Thu Nov 03, 2016 01:16 PM IST

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