The Chennayin based ISL club Chennaiyin FC will host Northeast United FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday in their must win league stage encounter of Hero Indian Super League 2016.
The match against the Highlanders will be their last home game of the league phase and the Chennaiyin FC are in need of maximum points to keep alive their playoff hopes.
Presently the Super Machans sit seventh in the Hero ISL 2016 table with 14 points from 12 games, one spot behind the Northeast United FC, on account of an inferior goal-difference.
The former Italian international Marco Materazzi, who is currently head coach of Chennaiyin FC, expressed his disappointment at not being able to live up to expectations and also with his side’s below-par performances this year and according to the Italian man this is happening because of the absence of key individuals from their title winning team last year.
As Speaking to the media at the pre-match press conference in Chennai, Marco Materazzi said,
“Well, maybe Bruno [Pelissari] more than Elano. If you can remember in the last season in the final four games when Elano was not playing, it was actually Bruno who made the difference and [Stiven] Mendoza. As I said in the first year, he [Mendoza] did really well and if not for that injury to him we could have won in the first year as well. But yes, what I think is that we’ve wasted too many chances this season,”
“In Kolkata we conceded a late goal, same in Pune where we conceded a late free-kick. We could have sealed the games against Kerala and Mumbai as well [both home games] where we should have scored the second goal but instead conceded in the second half. So yes, I regret that maybe we didn’t play to our potential this year. We didn’t play the way what we thought we could but we are looking for six points, hoping at the same time that other results also go in our favour.” He added.
And when Marco Materazzi has been asked to share his view on the proposed expansion of the league next year and if the new-look of Hero ISL will be able to attract marquee talents like John Arne Riise for a longer duration.
“First of all I would like to thank the ISL and Chennaiyin FC to allow me to coach for these three years. I don’t know about the marquee players because as far as I know, it’s a rumour till now. The league for next year would start in November and end in April or May. It will be difficult to hold onto these big names. And I think it will also be difficult to keep the enthusiasm for that much time. For me, the best arrangement is three-four months. But I respect the decisions and I believe those at the ISL will decide what’s best to develop football in India,” Marco Materazzi concluded.