Chennaiyin look to bounce back

NorthEast seek to maintain winning run at Chennai

Chennaiyin look to bounce back

Former champions Chennaiyin FC would look to bounce back from their opening match defeat when they take on NorthEast United FC in their second game of the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Thursday.

FC Goa's three-goal blitz on Sunday last in the first half left Chennaiyin stunned and a second-half fightback was not enough as they went down 2-3. Now they would need to bounce back just three days after the reverse against their rivals, who have never lost at this venue in the past three seasons.

"We have to try and correct our performance. We get our chance very quickly. We want to get back on the field and try to make up for that loss on Sunday," Chennaiyin coach John Gregory told reporters ahead of the game against NEUFC.

When reminded that NorthEast United have not lost in Chennai, the man who replaced Marco Materazzi did not seem perturbed. "Records are there to be broken. Statistics come up all the time," he said.

The defence was found wanting in the opening match and the team would like to tighten things up when they take the field.

Chennaiyin strikers Jeje Lalpekhlua and Baoringdao Bodo have to step up and be more clinical in their finishing too, an area in which they came up short against Goa.

NorthEast United had drawn their first game against debutants Jamshedpur FC .

"We created a lot of chances and did not get a goal but for me that is not a problem. We know how to reach there. I can tell you that I am not worried that we did not score. At the end of the league, we will have the top goal scorer," said NorthEast United coach Joao de Deus.

NEUFC is among the two sides who have never qualified for the play-offs but the coach didn't want to dwell too much on the past.

"I have nothing to say about the past. I am not here to speak about the past of my team. I was not here. I am here to speak about the present and the future. We are improving," said the coach, who would be able to pick Rowllin Borges after the India midfielder trained on Wednesday.

To a question on their rivals, Deus said he was aware of Chennaiyin's strength, adding the home team would be in a different shape against his side.

"I had a chance to watch the Chennaiyin-Goa game. Their defenders created high pressure with the assistance of two midfielders and fullbacks. I like the concept and it was just the first match, where they made mistakes in conceding goals. They will improve despite a defeat in the first game. They pressed high and created some counter-attacks. We are wary of them," he added.

PTI

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