First casualty of the season? John Gregory’s press conference in full
November 10, 2019     Staff Reporter

John Gregory speaking at the press conference post Chennaiyin’s 0-3 defeat at Bengaluru FC

Now obviously I can only play five foreigners and we’ve started Dragos in three previous games. I just needed to change one or two things. Young Rahim has been has been outstanding on the training ground since the start the season, and he deserved to have his chance. With Chhangte again, a bit like Thapa, they’re finding it a bit difficult because he had three games in seven days recently. And both him and Thapa are quite exhausted. I’ve mentioned it once or twice before the fact that played almost non-stop for the last two years for club and country. And just sometimes they need to have a break and I thought this was an ideal opportunity just to maybe keep him on the bench for an hour. And then I was obviously hoping that when he comes on, that we might be in a situation where Chhangte could go and win us the game you know, but it didn’t quite turn out that way.

Well, I think we finished strong to be fair. Today, we didn’t start strong and falling behind to two goals in the manner in which we did was extremely frustrating for a coach. You don’t expect us to concede the second goal in particular, (it) was crucial. From our own situation, we gave the ball away in our half the pitch and suddenly, Sunil is left clear, with just the goalkeeper to beat and he took his opportunity very well. So it’s frustrating from my point of view, really very frustrated. We didn’t start well at all. And to be fair, (in) the last two games, we started very well, but we didn’t start well at all (today), and we were getting overrun in the first half. And certainly, BFC were causing us a lot of problems. We didn’t deal with it very well. We were second to every ball on the pitch. BFC picked up any loose balls, and they kept the ball very well. And at 2-0, they basically were on cruise control. We had a lot of the possession in the second half. We squandered a couple of opportunities that we had maybe to go back in the game, and obviously the third goal was a killer blow for us and that sealed the victory for them.

It’s probably about time I sat down with the owner and have a conversation with her. She’s been she’s been very supportive since September 2017. But it’s probably time that I sat down with her and had a deeper conversation than normal. We can’t continue like this to be honest. We can’t. We consider ourselves to be a very, very good club. And we’re hurting, the whole club’s hurting at the moment, and none more so than the myself. I’ve carried this club on my shoulders for the last, this is now my third year, and it’s not easy. I have never worked so hard in my life as much as I’ve done in the last two and a half years. And it’s a heavy load and it might be time for somebody else to take over. So I should have a long chat with Mrs. Dani in the next 24 hours. Because, in my opinion, the club always comes first. And we have to do what’s best for the club. And quite frankly, right now, this is the worst I’ve felt in two and a half years so I don’t particularly enjoy these moments.

So we should see. We’ve got a break now for a couple of weeks. It will give everybody time to reflect and maybe make some improvements for the remainder of season. There is another 14 games to play and there’s still a lot to play for. There’s still a lot of points at stake. But in the current situation, we don’t look as if we’re likely to pick up many points in the next few games. There’s something really needs to be done. So I would imagine that we will get put our heads together and certainly make some improvements.

Just as what I said to the previous gentleman, that maybe it’s time for me to sit and talk with Vita (Dani), maybe make some changes off the field. Because the club is really important. It’s an important part of my life and has been for the last couple of years. It hurts me to see the situation that my team is in. That my club is in. I’m an adopted Chennai boy. I have been for the last couple of years and I’m hurting like hell, more than you would ever believe. And I take it all very personal. So I don’t want to see my team in this situation at the moment. And as I said, we might need to do something about it to change things. So we should say. Okay, sorry, it’s a bit bland, but you get the drift. Okay. Thanks, guys.

From the Post Match Press Conference

(Image: ISL Media)