Jeje: This is the best Chennaiyin side

Chennaiyin FC will look to start afresh from last year’s lacklustre campaign and the 2015 ISL champion is eager to regain the trophy.

Chennaiyin FC bears a new look this season but it does have familiar faces in its ranks.   -  PTI

A gregarious coach John Gregory--what a big difference from his predecessor who was anything but elaborate--was at his best here on Thursday doing the job of an Emcee, giving introduction to each and every playing member and support staff of Chennaiyin FC, in his own inimitable style.

The 63-year-old Englishman called midfielder Bikramjit Singh “a tiger” and prefaced Nigerian striker Jude Nworuh as “one of the quickest guys in our team.”

READ: Chennaiyin FC season preview

Calling defender Henrique Sereno Fonseca of Portugal as champion of last season (he played for Atletico de Kolkata), and referring to veteran defender Inigo Calderon Zapateria of Spain as one player whom “you will enjoy watching his game”, to describing winger Thoi Singh as one who “can run all day”, John turned a drab press conference a bit lively.

Introducing Rene Mihelic, who wears the No.10 jersey, John said “it [No.10 shirt] is a big shirt to wear with courage. It is known as a marquee player,” he said.

When asked about the difference in working with previous coach Marco Materazzi and John, Raphael Augusto said “there is always going to be a difference, and the intensity of training is better [with John].”

The side’s key striker Jeje Lalpekhlua said this is the best Chennaiyin team he has been part of and the 2015 champion is eager to regain the trophy for the club’s fans.

Dhanpal Singh, who hasn’t really established himself as a regular in the ISL side, is keen to take his chance. “I am eager to play in all the matches and be in the starting XI,” the 26-year-old said.

On the team conceding late goals which turned out to be one of the main reasons the club finishing seventh, Sereno said “this year it will be completely different. We must do everything to not concede goals. We are prepared,” he said.

Earlier in a press release released by the club, it said Apollo Tyres will be its Principal sponsor.

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