CHENNAI: It has been a hard start to life in the big leagues for Chennai City FC. Their first three matches have yielded one point — that from their opening day draw against Minerva Punjab FC. They are yet to score a goal and have conceded four in their last two. And to make matters worse, up next is Mohun Bagan who are yet to drop points or concede a goal.
The sole bright spot is that the club can say with certainty that the match will go ahead. After Tamil Nadu Sports Minister K Pandiarajan intervened, the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu has agreed to rent the JN Stadium to Chennai City at a reduced rate.
Chennai City captain Dharmaraj Ravanan is not hiding behind excuses when it comes to evaluating the team’s start to the season. “After three matches, we haven’t won a game, scored a goal and conceded four goals, so that is not good,” he told Express. “But we know that we can do better with the quality of the players we have. So definitely for the coming matches, we will put in more effort for the team.”
Ravanan, though, believes that performances will get better. After all, the team only had a few practice sessions together before their first game, with a number of key players including Haroon Amiri, Denson Devadas and Marcos Tank arriving the day before their debut. “I had said before the first game that the lack of time spent together is a major concern,” he said. “But let’s see now. Three matches are over and at least now, we should be able to gel both on and off the field a bit more.”
And the central defender, who lifted the title with Churchill Brothers in 2013, knows that the Bagan test is as tough as it can get in the I-League. “They are one of the biggest clubs in the country,” he said. “Last year they played really well, both in the League and in the Federation Cup. This year they have started off well. It’ll be tough with the quality of players they have, but let’s see. It’s a home match and we will put up the best fight we can.”