Despite Chennaiyin FC’s struggles in the final third in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20, its head coach John Gregory threw his weight behind centre forwards Andre Schembri and Nerijus Valskis.
“With Nerijus and Andre, I try to give them as much confidence as possible. Both players showed their quality and ability to score goals the other night. I have never lost my faith in them,” added the Englishman. Despite creating a number of half-chances, the midfielders haven’t fed the strikers well enough.
And, gaffer Gregory accepted he is working on the issue. “We have to find the right formula to get the best out of the men up front. We have tried one or two permutations so far.” CFC captain and centre-back Lucian Goian felt a bit uneasy towards the fag end of the HFC fixture. The 36-year-old, who is known for throwing himself into action, was seen clutching his ankle a few times.
But Gregory put that down to his age and confirmed he is available for the upcoming tie. “He’s fine, he will be ready. He is an old man now and we will have to look after him. As a captain, he has a little bit more responsibility on his shoulders. He took a few bumps during the course of the last match. That is what you want from your defenders,” said the manager.
During the pre-game presser, Gregory made his expectations pretty clear. A repeat of Monday is all he wanted from his boys. “We had an incredible night against Hyderabad. I got to see what that victory meant to everyone in the Chennaiyin community. So, I want the players to do exactly the same (on Thursday),” concluded Gregory.