Chennaiyin head coach John Gregory is hoping that his brand new team can deliver success in the sixth season of Indian Super League (ISL). After a disappointing bottom-placed finish last season, the Marina Machans will get the new season underway with a fixture against FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium on Wednesday.
Ahead of the game, Gregory said, "We almost have a brand new team. We had 7 foreigners last season of which we have changed six. People like Dhanpal (Ganesh) and (Anirudh) Thapa have signed long contracts, we are very happy with our domestic players, we would like to think that they are the future of our club. With the new foreigners, we hope they have the same influence as they had in season four."
FC Goa have made a name for themselves with their performances. They are last season's ISL finalists and the winners of the 2019 Super Cup
"Under Sergio Lobera, Goa have literally had the same personnel in the squad. They have made one or two adjustments that have made them a better team. It is a tough game for us. Our team, certainly our foreigners, need to adapt very quickly. There is not a more difficult away game than Goa."
The English coach, who coaches his team in the AFC Cup preliminary round earlier this year as they were the 2017-18 ISL champions, feels the recent decision to award the AFC spot to the league toppers is a good move.
"It is an added bonus to everybody. Last year was the first year that the team winning the regular season actually went on to win the title. It is a much more sensible idea. To get recognized for actually finishing top of the league is a common-sense idea. There might be a different approach once you have qualified for the playoffs."
He also touched upon one of his favourite foreign players in the league, Goa's Ahmed Jahouh, who will miss Wednesday's match due to a suspension. "He is probably my favourite player, he has been instrumental in Goa's success. He is always been the outstanding player in Goa. I am very happy he is not playing."