ISL 2019 | CK Vineeth and Halicharan Narzary lacked match practice, says John Gregory

ISL 2019 | CK Vineeth and Halicharan Narzary lacked match practice, says John Gregory

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Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory reckons that new transfers, Halicharan Narzary and CK Vineeth, need some time to gel into the team after the duo made their debut in the 1-0 loss to NorthEast United FC. The defending champions were beaten by a late Bartholomew Ogbeche goal on Saturday.

Chennaiyin FC slumped to a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of NorthEast United FC after a last gasp goal from Bartholomew Ogbeche sealed the win at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday. Visiting coach, John Gregory, was critical of his side’s performance as he suggested that new signings, Halicharan Narzary and CK Vineeth, will require some time to fit into the squad.

“We did well in the first half but sort of fell apart in the second half. You could see that Halicharan (Narzary) and CK (Vineeth) looked a bit short of match practice. I think they both tired out pretty quickly. They have not been playing for their club. Halicharan has been away on national duty and he was brave in the Asian Cup.

“I think it’s just a matter of time that they gel into the team and do what we want them to do for us. I’m sure, they will be in a better state next week. I’m disappointed with how we slacked off in the second half. There were just three players in our starting line-up today who played in the finals last year,” Gregory said in a post-match interview, reported Goal.

Gregory, who guided the Chennai-based franchise to the ISL Trophy last year, is adamant that his team did not deserve to lose last night and were unlucky to concede a goal in the dying stages of the game.

“Possibly yes (we might see some new transfers in). Tonight, we had three players make their debut. We have two kids at right-back and left-back – babies who don’t have much experience. We had one or two changes in the line-up. They all fought well and did their best.”  

“There was no way that NorthEast were going to score today. Karanjit (Singh) made one or two good saves and we also made a couple of good clearances. The defenders were throwing themselves at every challenge. I was expecting us to nick a goal somehow, the way things were going. I was expecting us to get the winner, but in the 85th minute, something else happened,” Gregory added

While Gregory praised the efforts of the home team, he added that NorthEast United FC would find it hard to win the rest of their games this season as the teams in the competition have figured out their strategy.

“I think NorthEast played confidently and with freedom. They have been together for five months and they have been used to playing with each other now. They move the ball up the pitch well and they don’t panic. I think the opposition have been surprised by them. But against Goa, they could not do it. Because I think Goa were aware of how good they can be and strangled them that night, without allowing them to express themselves. I think many teams took them lightly as they did not have a great record in the past four seasons,” Gregory concluded. 

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