Indian Super League: John Gregory hopes to sustain Chennaiyin FC’s good run

Chennaiyin FC, who were champions in the second season of the Indian Super League, will be aiming to sustain their good run under John Gregory, who will take over from Marco Materazzi who was at the helm for three years.

indian super league 2017 Updated: Nov 16, 2017 09:40 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian Super League,ISL 2017-18,Chennaiyin FC
John Gregory will be the new coach of Chennaiyin FC in the 2017 Indian Super League as he takes over from Marco Materazzi.(HT Photo)

When it comes to the Indian Super League (ISL), coaches haven’t had long tenures. While Delhi Dynamos has had a new coach in every season till now, Kerala Blasters had five (permanent and interim) in the space of just three editions.

As a result, Marco Materazzi’s three-year stay at Chennaiyin FC makes him a special figure to their fans, and their new coach John Gregory believes that it will be a tough task to fill in his shoes.

“A lot is expected of us - champions in year two and semi-finalists in the first. Marco Matterazi is a legend in Chennai and he delivered great consistency to this club. I want to continue the great work done by him in the first three years. In professional sport, there is always pressure; as a professional you always want that pressure to be successful,” said Gregory.

“Every coach has his own style. I leave it to the media and fans to judge my style, but like Marco or any other coach, I hate losing and love winning.”

When it comes to coaching experience, there are few managers in ISL who can boast of a better resume than John Gregory. He started his career with English Championship clubs Plymouth Argyle and Wycombe Wanderers before taking charge of Premier League side Aston Villa.

However, he is not taking ISL lightly and said that the training regime for his players will be the same as it is in English Championship.

“As for training drills, I won’t do anything different compared to England, where Championship clubs play 46 games in 38 weeks along with (midweek) cup games as well. But a longer league gives coaches and players enough to know each other,” said Gregory.

Chennaiyin FC will start their ISL 2017-18 campaign against FC Goa at their home ground in Chennai on November 19.

Asked about their preparation, Gregory sounded quite happy with his team’s performance in the pre-season friendlies and said that his players have shown great professionalism in the run-up to the tournament.

“We had a three-week pre-season camp in Thailand and played three matches. We are trying to give the best possible preparation to the squad. I am very impressed by the attitude and professionalism of this group of players. We are working hard and aim to make a good start on November 19,” concluded the coach.

First Published: Nov 16, 2017 09:39 IST