Cahill boost for Jamshedpur against Chennaiyin FC

Australian star Tim Cahill, who played his testimonial game for his country this week, has returned to strengthen the host.

Australia star Tim Cahill will be a strong force for the host against Chennaiyin FC on Sunday.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Buoyed by the first win of the season, defending champion Chennaiyin FC will be looking to continue the resurgence when it takes on host Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League fixture here at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Sunday.

The visitor will resume after an 18-day break; ever since it dominated FC Pune City at the latter’s home on November 6.

The Pune City factor remains a common reason to ponder for the two current opponents who travelled to the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex in Balewadi in their last assignment before coming here.

Chennaiyin FC regained the winning touch with a 4-2 verdict while the Steel City side succumbed to its first loss of the tournament as the Stallions romped home 2-1 with a late winner.

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Before the win, Chennaiyin suffered five losses and a draw in seven outings. The host has won only two matches out of eight, comprising five draws and the recent loss.

Defense has been a major concern for Jamshedpur head coach Cesar Ferrando, as his side has failed in most occasions to preserve the good work done by the attack; defenders let in equalisers.

While Tiri has been good in central defense, but Ferrando has not been able to find a steady partner for the Spaniard.

Australian star Tim Cahill, who played his testimonial game for his country this week, has returned to strengthen the host, which also counted on the injury to its attacking midfielder Sergio Cidoncha.

“Sergio has ACL injury and we have lost him until January. We have (Michael) Soosairaj, (Pablo) Morgado and (Carlos) Calvo who can play in his position. To me team is important. We have to continue playing and play well,” Ferrando counted his options.

Erratic schedule

The Spanish coach, who has the credit of coaching a top team like Atletico Madrid earlier in his career, questioned the scheduling of the ISL. “The league is different. Some teams play too many matches in a short time and some teams play one match a week. Their (Chennaiying FC) coach can only say if the gap was good for them. It was good for the team as they got a good time to recover. I personally prefer regular matches so that there is continuity,” Ferrando said.

Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory insisted on continuing the momentum while hoping that the team’s attack, where an off-form Jeje Lalpekhlua is not contributing much, comes good. “We come here probably not as strong as we were last season and Jamshedpur is probably more stronger. We are definitely not taking the match lightly,” Gregory said ahead of the match.

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“Prior to the Pune victory we were playing well. We had huge amount of possession and on many occasions we outclassed the opponent. But we conceded goals. Last season this did not happen, we were solid defensively. Now after the win against Pune the team has gained confidence,” Gregory tried to analyse the forgettable start his team has this season.

The win against Pune City came off the four goals in the second half with set-pieces figuring in half of the outcome. The visitor will be looking for more open play and expect its attack to continue the revival process.