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ISL: Chennai Coach Gregory Lauds boys’ Character Ahead of ATK Tie 

ISL: Chennai Coach Gregory Lauds boys’ Character Ahead of ATK Tie

Chennai, Dec7: Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory feels the fact that they scored three times in the last ten minutes of the match shows the character of the team and their willingness to keep pushing till the end.

Skipper Henrique Sereno scored in the 82nd minute against FC Pune City in their last game while Mohammed Rafi made it 3-0 in the 84th minute against NorthEast United FC in the second match.

Raphael Augusto converted from the spot in the 84th minute to score the second goal for Chennaiyin against Goa and make the last few minutes exciting as the visitors on the night were leading by three first-half goals.

“I have real characters in the team. The real passion and deep-lying characters that I have. Players that will keep going regardless of what happens on the pitch,” Gregory told reporters on the eve of their fourth round Indian Super League (ISL) clash against ATK here on Thursday.

Chennaiyin, after three matches, is second in the points table with six points. Bengaluru FC edges them on goal difference at the top of the 10-team heap.

Gregory was talking about contrasting situations when the goals were scored late in the last three games. In the first game, Goa was running away with three points when Augusto netted for the 2015 ISL champions igniting hopes of at least a point.

In the next game, Rafi added gloss to the 2-0 scoreline against NorthEast.

In the previous outing, Augusto scored a late winner after Chennai’s defence kept Pune’s deadly duo of Emiliano Alfaro and Marcelino quiet for the most part of the match.

A former England international, Gregory had nice words to say about ATK coach Teddy Sheringham.

“I have coached against him (during his time at Aston Villa) when he was at Manchester United and we used to go to Old Trafford and lose,” Gregory recalled.

“He is starting out as a coach. He has had one job in England. That did not go down all too well. I just hope he starts winning save tomorrow,” Gregory said.

Sheringham’s ATK is winless from three outings, languishing at the bottom of the table with two points from three games.

Sheringham was appointed to his first managerial role, taking charge of League Two side Stevenage in 2015, replacing Graham Westley.

He was sacked on February 1 last year with the club 19th in the league having collected only three points from their last eight matches.

“During his time, he was a brilliant footballer. He won everything there is to win,” Gregory added.

Sheringham is Treble winner with United, scoring a stoppage-time equaliser in the UEFA Champions League in the 1999-2000 season against Bayern Munich to land the coveted crown.

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