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Who is going to step up for Chennaiyin FC?

Chennaiyin FC is all set to play Hyderabad FC on tomorrow and Crivellaro sits down to have a chat about the club’s performance ahead of the matchday.

Who is going to step up for Chennaiyin FC?

Rafael Crivellaro

CHENNAI: Chennaiyin FC is no stranger to comebacks, the team etched its name in history during the 2015 final against FC Goa. An extra-time goal won the club its first-ever ISL championship.

In the 2019-2020 season, Nerijus Valskis' last-minute strike against Atletico De Kolkata away from home kept its playoff dreams alive. Now, they must summon a similar magic on Monday to secure their first points of the season.

Rafael Crivellaro, a name that resonates with thousands of Chennaiyin fans dazzled the crowd with a beautiful free-kick in its recent clash against Mohun Bagan. Despite this brilliance, they fell short of their objectives and are now determined to rewrite the results in their favour in the upcoming match against Hyderabad FC.

Acknowledging the team’s poor performances in recent times, Crivellaro stated during an interview with DT Next, “We are well aware of our subpar performance. However, we are diligently learning from our mistakes, and improvement is inevitable.”

Chennaiyin FC remained far from idle during the international break. They engaged in two friendly matches against Gokulam Kerala, and Crivellaro says that the games definitely helped them shape more as a cohesive unit.

“The matches against Gokulam Kerala were really good. We displayed better performance, and now we aim to carry that momentum into the ISL matches. The upcoming game will be a tough match, but I have full faith in our team's abilities,” he stated.

While hope briefly shone when Crivellaro narrowed the gap against Mohun Bagan, it was dashed when Manvir Singh sealed the game just a minute later. Reflecting on how the moments transpired, Crivellaro emphasized, “It's no longer about individual defenders. We are committed to keeping clean sheets. It's time to back each other on the field and defend as a unit.”

We need to play more collective football, we cannot afford to give away possession of the ball, our forwards didn’t have the best of games previously but the recent break has brought in positive change. We are definitely working hard,” Crivellaro said.

Coach Owen Coyle stressed the importance of not only building a team for the moment but also for the long run. However, the recent ISL results cast ominous shadows over Chennaiyin's journey. Crivellaro remains optimistic, noting, “Every season is different. We understand our fans' frustration, and we share in that disappointment.”

“We are a new group of players, now that is not an excuse but we are starting from scratch, Coach Coyle is an experienced coach, and he’ll definitely shape this team. Maybe it’d take some time but eventually it’d definitely happen,” he added.

Jordan Murry who picked up a niggle post-match at Kalinga Stadium came on as a substitute in the friendlies against Gokulam Kerala and Crivellaro feels that having a full squad gives more depth to the team.

“Jordan’s been training with the group, he is a very important player just like everyone else, I’m happy he is up and running again,” Crivellaro added.

Towards the end of the interview, Crivellaro expressed gratitude for Chennaiyin's fans and their unwavering support through defeats and disappointments. He conveyed a message of hope to the fans, urging them to believe in the team and reminding them that good things take time but are destined to materialize.

Chennaiyin FC plays Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League on Monday at 8:00 PM at the Gachibowli Stadium.

Jayantho Sengupta
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