ISL 2017-18: Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory credits 'family atmosphere' in team for success this season

Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory said his team's success this season was due to the fact that there was a sense of togetherness in the team and players felt like they belonged to a family.

"The fact that we practically lived together. We were seeing each other all the time and we used to travel together. You know, we were at each other's face all the time. I think that togetherness and trust which we built played a big role.

Chennaiyin FC players celebrate a goal during the second leg of the second semi-final against FC Goa. Sportzpics

Chennaiyin FC players celebrate a goal during the second leg of the second semi-final against FC Goa. Sportzpics

"Obviously you don't get to see that in England where players will be there for two-three hours in a day and then they are off. I don't want to sound corny but we have a real family atmosphere in the team," Gregory said.

Playing at home in the second-leg of their semi-final clash, Chennaiyin FC humbled FC Goa 3-0 after two goals from Jeje Lalpekhlua and one from local boy Dhanpal Ganesh. Chennaiyin won the tie 4-1 on aggregate after first-leg in Goa finished 1-1.

Coach Gregory also heaped praise on his team's defenders, especially the three foreigners -- Henrique Sereno, Mailson Alves and Inigo Calderon for bringing in all their experience on the field and also helping the Indian players.

"We’ve obviously got three foreign players in our defence. Goa tended to load their team in attack with foreigners. We’ve got three vastly experienced players playing with a 19-year-old left-back (Jerry Lalrinzuala). We worked on our positional sense during training and they pick it up very quickly because they have the experience. They take on board my advice well and they are leaders on the pitch as well. These three boys interact with everybody and have a fantastic attitude," Gregory added.

When asked if there are specific plans to tackle Bengaluru in the final, Gregory responded that they will go into the game with the same attitude they've shown against FC Goa and will focus on implementing their plan.

Meanwhile, in the post-match conference, Goa head coach Sergio Lobera said that they started on a really strong note and it's the best start he has seen from his team this season but defensive mistakes costs them the match.

"I think we were exceptional in the first 25 minutes. We had opportunities to put ourselves ahead. For that period, we were much better compared to the team that was playing at home. In the next two-three minutes, we committed mistakes and the game was gone. But I think the first 25 minutes, it was the best we've been the entire season, " Lobera said.

Goa's two best players -- Ferran Corominas and Manuel Lanzarote did not have a great game against Chennai and when questioned about their future with club, Lobera did not divulge much information.

“I think talking about their future is not the same as talking about their performances in the semi-finals. You have to analyse the team more than them. They helped us a lot over the season. The rest of the team also helped us. It is difficult for us now and we don't have many positives. But if you were to evaluate the season, I'm very happy with their performances,” he said.

Published Date: Mar 14, 2018 15:13 PM | Updated Date: Mar 14, 2018 15:13 PM

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