Bengaluru, November 9, 2019: Chennaiyin FC Head Coach John Gregory underlined the added importance of the tie against Bengaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League here at the pre-match press conference on Saturday. Both teams enter the highly charged clash looking for their first win of the campaign, with BFC having drawn three while CFC having drawn one and lost two.
“It is a little bit more than just a football match. Our players are well aware of what is at stake. The rivalry between the two teams has been very strong since they (BFC) came into the ISL in season four. We admire what BFC achieved last season, but we would like to get our first victory of the season, and there is no better place than to get it here (at the Kanteerava),” he stressed.
With wholesale changes made to the playing squad in the summer, Gregory strongly stated the importance of the boys gelling together on and off the pitch. “We made lots of changes to the playing staff. We brought in six new foreigners. We needed to give it all a fresh look. I am personally pleased with the performances. We can take some happiness from it. The points don’t really reflect our performances, and that is similar to BFC who’ve played well but not got the results,” he opined.
An interesting sub-plot is CFC coming up against one of its former heroes in the form of Brazilian Raphael Augusto. The midfielder scored the winning goal in the 2017-18 ISL final as CFC thumped BFC 3-2 in the latter’s own backyard. Now he’ll be up against his former employers and Gregory acknowledged the talent his side would be up against, notwithstanding Augusto alone.
“We know the challenges we will face against them (BFC). It will be a tough game. We go into games against them with that extra bounce in our stride. We know the implications of not getting a result against them. We also know Raphael Augusto well, what a good player he is. He has started well for BFC, playing a bit further forward. Much like where we played him in the 2017-18 season. I’m not sure he has enjoyed much playing in that position in the past, and I hope he doesn’t enjoy playing with us against us!” Gregory said before signing off.