Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory has hailed the brilliant partnership and understanding of his midfielders Rafael Crivellaro and Anirudh Thapa and has revealed that he is expecting a lot from them. The Englishman has also stated that highlighted the mistakes the side made last season.
Not the biggest of names, but Chennaiyin FC have definitely brought in players in this transfer window that could keep the fans at the edge of their seats throughout the season. And if Gregory had to pick one to lead that cause, it would be Brazilian Crivellaro, who has been specifically brought in to fill in the shoes of Raphael Augusto.
"When you have a new set of players, you also need to tweak your style a bit. I feel we will play a bit quicker. We also have a left-footed player in Brazilian Rafael Crivellaro in the midfield. He is very elegant and the understanding between Rafael and (Anirudh) Thapa has been brilliant. If they click, our midfield will be dynamic," he said during the unveiling of CFC’s squad for ISL 2019-20, reported TOI.
When asked about were the other holes that were clothed in this summer, Gregory threw light on the upgraded striking force that was missing last season with Jeje Lalpekhlua injured. “We lacked a goal scorer last season. Jeje (Lalpekhlua) was playing with an injury and wasn't at his best. We didn't have a backup striker and faltered.
“We created a lot of chances but there wasn't anyone to take them. We looked for strikers who can score consistently this season and Maltese Andre Schembri and Lithuanian Nerijus Valskis fit the bill. They have done well during pre-season and hopefully can perform when it matters," he added.
After finishing at the bottom of the table last time, losing 13 of their 18 matches, Gregory has come to the conclusion that it was the quality of foreign players in the side that made all the difference in the league. He even pointed to the likes of Bengaluru FC, FC Goa, NorthEast United FC, and Mumbai City FC who finished in the top four to justify his statement.
“You need to have outstanding foreigners in Indian football as they do make the difference. You need to build your team around them. Last season, the top four teams' overseas players performed exceptionally well. We, on the other hand, didn't work as hard as we would have loved to,” he said.
“With Inigo (Calderon) and Henrique Sereno leaving us, we failed to plug the holes in defence. That's why we have brought in Lucian Goian from Mumbai City this time to strengthen our backline. He has leadership qualities in him and hopefully he can replicate what Sereno did for us," Gregory added.