'The pressure is mine' - John Gregory after Chennaiyin's poor start

Chennaiyin FC manager admitted the team lacked sharpness defensively in the 3-1 defeat to FC Goa.

John Gregory Chennaiyin FC

John Gregory felt his side's shape was wrong in the defeat to FC Goa. (file photo)   -  R. Ragu

Chennaiyin FC's season couldn’t have got to a worse start. The reigning Indian Super League champion lost its opening game 1-0 against Bengaluru FC and succumbed to a 3-1 drubbing against FC Goa at home on Saturday, leaving the side with zero points on the table.

Chennaiyin coach John Gregory walked into the post-match press conference by saying he now knew what Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho, who's side is also on a losing streak, felt like. “I now know how Jose Mourinho feels. I'm not going to leave in 30 seconds. (laughs) I'd like to but I wont.”

Match report

Gregory lamented his side's defensive display on the evening. “We were not sharp defensively as we have been. All three goals could have been avoided but I always take responsibility for the outcome. We weren’t as good as Goa. I thought we did defensively well last week (against BFC) but tonight we allowed them (Goa) to get back into the game,” he said.

“I think it was because of our set up, it was possibly the wrong shape. FC Goa took their opportunities,” he added.

The Englishman said the two losses don't alter the team's ultimate objective. “The pressure is mine. I ultimately am the leader so its down to me to get results. It's down to me to prepare the team and make sure they win every week. We have had two punches on the nose and so has the other champion that has an English coach (ATK). It doesn't change our objective to make the playoffs. We just need to get the first points on the board,” he stated.

FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera was delighted with his side's performance. “I'm happy that we have won four points from two away matches. I always try to get the best out of my players. We dropped two points against NorthEast United FC, but today (Saturday) we got all three points and I'm really happy,” said the Spaniard.

“I've always said that we are an attacking side and we proved that today on the field. I'm glad that we maintained possession of the ball but I'm unhappy about not being able to keep a clean sheet,” he added.

When asked if he felt FC Goa had exacted revenge for its semifinal loss to Chennaiyin last season, he said, “I don't believe in revenge in football. We got three points today and I don't treat it as revenge as such.”

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