Chennai City owner reflects on title-winning season

Gaurav Bora scored a stunning brace as Chennai City FC made a sensational comeback to beat Minerva Punjab FC 3-1 and win its maiden Hero I-League title.

Rohit Ramesh (L) is looking forward to the Super Cup and the AFC Champions League.   -  Special Arrangement

Chennai City FC owner Rohit Ramesh credited his players after his side scripted a famous I-League triumph in Coimbatore on Saturday. Sportstar caught up with him for a chat on the 3-1 win over Minerva Punjab FC, his team’s exploits and the way forward for his team.

Excerpts.

On the final day

It’s pretty emotional right now. We never expected where we are right now. Today we did not have Nestor (Gordillo) and then (Roberto) Eslava went down during the pre-match training. So emotionally the players were a bit dull.

But then the first half was a different result altogether. They knew they had a job to do and they knew it was 0-0 for East Bengal (against Gokulam Kerala FC) as well and then they did their justice to finish the job.

READ | Chennai City FC makes stunning comeback to win maiden I-League title

On the season

On the whole, the season has been brilliant. Absolutely, brilliant! There is no doubt that it’s been a roller-coaster. Emotionally, our players are very attached to each other. Even the foreigners had to leave their family and come here to settle down. In the end, it’s a good win and all the players deserve it.

On Akbar Nawas

Last year, he came on board as a consultant. We then had a plan and a vision for the following year. One thing which I made clear was that to ensure we have the local players and do the best as far as we are concerned. The style of play was up to the coach. The target was to improve on the eighth position and see if we can get top six. Top four position was a bonus.

ALSO READ | Gaurav Bora emerges hero for Chennai City FC

On Chennai City’s triumph since his takeover in 2016

To be honest, I think we would not have won it (the title) in the last two years but this time we have a more professional approach. We have more insights here who see football on an overall perspective. At the end of the day, if the local players are doing well it’s due to both of them (Nawaz and assistant coach Bala Vimaran). They (players) have adapted with the way the coaches want to and it's tough to play the style Akbar and Bala want.

On the future

We want to sit and have a chat. It’s been a hectic one year and we have the Super Cup too to discuss. More importantly, we can play AFC Champions League (next season)! That’s a bonus. We have to go back to the drawing board and see from there.

ALSO READ | Chennai City vs Minerva Punjab - As it happened

On retaining the core of the team

I have no idea about that now. I have to speak to the coach. We have to look at what the club wants, the interest of the player and overall with others in mind. Then, we go back to the drawing board and see what best can be done.

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