Gregory wary of ATK’s threat from set pieces

Chennaiyin FC will host ATK at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. The defending champions have had a dreadful start to Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 and have managed just five points from their nine outings so far. With their top four hopes fading fast, Chennaiyin will be desperate to secure all three points from the match and kickstart a resurgence of sorts.

At the pre-match press conference, Chennaiyin head coach John Gregory outlined what was needed from his team going forward and reflected on the last match against Kerala Blasters FC, which his team drew despite playing well. "It’s going to take a lot of hard work. A lot of patience. We need to have some more confidence in ourselves. In the last match against Kerala Blasters FC, you could see in their (the players') body language, you could also hear it in the dressing room, that they know they played really well. I think they took a lot of confidence from that game. And they also knew that they should have won the game and won it comfortably. So, that’s a little bit frustrating," he said.

Gregory also spoke highly of Steve Coppell’s ATK side and said, "Playing against Steve’s team is always tough. They are tough to play against. And since Bikey has come back into the team, they’ve become even stronger defensively. They are really a tough team to try and break down. Since Bikey has come in, I’m not so sure they’ve even conceded a goal. He’s added a little bit more strength to the defensive side of their game."

The Englishman also urged his players to be wary of ATK’s threat from set pieces. "They rely on set pieces to give them the advantage. They work very hard on their set pieces and actually scored from a set piece against us (in the last match). So, we have to be very careful and not give away silly free kicks and unnecessary fouls in our half of the pitch. With the delivery that Lanzarote has, they try and exploit the strength of their set piece specialist," he said.

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