ISL 2017: Gregory happy to have not conceded a goal

Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory wore a big smile on his face as walked in to take questions after his team’s easy victory against NorthEast United on Thursday.

"I have no fear of leaving out a foreign player for a domestic talent if the latter deserves to be in the team," says John Gregory.   -  M. Vedhan

Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory wore a big smile on his face as walked in to take questions after his team’s easy victory against NorthEast United FC here on Thursday. He was happy with the fact that Chennaiyin didn’t concede a goal in the game. “I probably took more pleasure from not conceding today,” he said.

“It was a great result. But it is important to keep clean sheets every week. The best teams keep clean sheets. Defensively, our boys were brilliant too,” he added.

Gregory emphasised on not taking any risks during the course of the game. “We tried to come back from a big deficit last week. It was important we did not take any risks and I spoke to my boys and asked them to focus on defending. We wanted not to concede in the first 20 minutes. We are going into a 10-day break and it will be a more enjoyable than the last couple of days,” the coach explained.

READ: ISL 2017: Chennaiyin turns fortunes around, thumps NorthEast United 3-0

The coach heaped praise on Raphael Augusto, who played a key role in the win. “He has been battling with a knee injury. He was only 80-85 per cent fit going into the match. He got into encouraging positions and was phenomenal. A player like Augusto needs space and freedom and that was what he got,” Gregory added.

The local boy Dhanpal Ganesh was praised by the coach after his debut for the club. “I had sent a text to Ganesh this morning. He was still fast asleep. I wanted to see him at the breakfast room. He came in petrified that I was going to punish him. But I gave him the good news that I was starting him and his face changed. I just told him to get ready. I told him that his first touch in the match should be good and he did exactly that. It was an amazing effort from Ganesh,” Gregory added.

NorthEast United coach Joao De Deus said his team lost due to lack of concentration. “We lost because the opponents scored three times and we didn't score. What can you say when you concede these goals! The first and the third goals could have been avoided,” he added.