ISL 2018-19: For Chennaiyin FC, it is all about salvaging pride

Effectively out of contention for the Indian Super League playoffs, both Chennaiyin FC (CFC) and Delhi Dynamos FC (DD) will look to salvage some pride when they clash at the Nehru Stadium on Saturday.

Chennaiyin FC players train at the SRMC ground in Chennai on Friday.   -  M. Vedhan

Effectively out of contention for the Indian Super League playoffs, both Chennaiyin FC (CFC) and Delhi Dynamos FC (DD) will look to salvage some pride when they clash at the Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.

DD is in the last — 10th — position with four points from 11 matches while CFC has five from 11 and is in ninth.

The league’s fifth season has been nothing short of disaster for both. More so for defending champion CFC whose performance has been well below par in all departments. With seven matches left head coach John Gregory took full responsibility for the team’s display thus far.

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“When the team doesn’t do well, it is down to me as the head coach to take responsibility. It has been a season of missed chances, not taking our opportunities. I have to accept responsibility for the outcome of this season,” said Gregory.

It is not all over yet for CFC and the 64-year-old Englishman said his team is looking forward to the Super Cup and AFC Cup.

“When a season goes the way it has for us, the intention is to always to try and salvage some pride. We have the Super Cup next year and the AFC Cup to look forward to. I really hope it is a long season for us and that we put up a good run in the AFC Cup,” he said.

Despite the abysmal performance, DD head coach Josep Gombau sounded upbeat. “We are playing good football. We are creating chances, but we aren’t converting them. It’s very frustrating. But we have come here with a good mentality, and we want to win,” he said.