ATK's position in the ISL table is false, says Chennaiyin coach John Gregory
By IANS | Published: 07th December 2017 10:35 PM |
CHENNAI: Despite edging out reigning champions ATK 3-2 in a second-half thriller, Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory said their opponents on the night are by no means makeweights and can come back hard with a win.
"ATK are a very good team and their position in the league table is very false. Once they maybe get a victory under their belt, they will be a totally different team. Certainly Robbie Keane made a difference when he came on. If they can get him fit and get him in the starting line-up, they are still going to be a team that we have to look out for this season," Gregory told reporters at the post match media interaction.
Jeje Lalpekhlua scored a second-half brace to help Chennai go top of the table but not without late drama as Zequinha (77th) and Njazi Kuqi (89th) pulled back for the visitors.
Inigo Calderon (84th) reclaimed the lead before Jeje scored the winner in the 90th minute.
Keane came on in the 61st minute and was influential in the goals for the Teddy Sheringham-coached side.
"I am pleased that he is back," Sheringham said of Keane who did not play the first three games due to injury.
Chennaiyin rested Raphael Augusto who has been in fine form for the 2015 champions with coach Gregory saying he was saved for the away tie against Mumbai City FC on Sunday.
"He is been carrying the odd knock. Each week he has been playng not at 100 percent. He was rested tonight for Sunday's Mumbai game on the road," the coach reasoned for not having him even in the 18-man squad for tonight.
On Jeje, who opened his account with the two goals the coach said the India striker plays differently for him than what he used to under previous coach Marco Materazzi.
"He is playing slightly different for me than how Marco played him. I think under Marco, he was an out an out striker. He had various other players around him. But we make him work a little harder which has not always been his strengths," Gregory added.
Chennai have nine points from four games while ATK are rock-bottom with just two points to show for from four matches.