Mumbai FC, Chennai FC in search of a win

Football / CCFC’s new coach keen to prove that he belongs at the level

February 10, 2017 07:04 pm | Updated February 11, 2017 03:13 am IST - CHENNAI:

Gearing up: Chennai City FC players train under the watchful eyes of new coach V. Soundararajan.

Gearing up: Chennai City FC players train under the watchful eyes of new coach V. Soundararajan.

I-League debutant Chennai City FC gave coach Robin Charles Raja a short seven-game run; for whatever reason, it can’t, and will not, try to do so with its new coach V. Soundararajan, simply because another hurried sack-and-change will further down the team morale.

Soundararajan, after taking over, had said that he has taken stock of the down-already team morale, and will do better to lift it.

The team, nevertheless, has to sample, and adapt to, his methods, which, as always, is time-consuming. That’s been talked of as a concern, especially with a home game versus Mumbai FC here on Saturday.

But, it’s the enthusiasm, the excitement that “newness” generates that Mumbai is wary of, said its coach Santosh Kashyap on the eve of the match.

“There’s this josh (enthusiasm) that comes with anything new. A new coach, new vision, in this case. I think that’s dangerous.”

His team has strung five losses in a row so far. He said that it has to stop conceding “silly” goals.

Something that his counterpart felt strongly about his team, too.

“We have some nine ISL, four foreign, and a few Santosh trophy players in our squad. So, I don’t see why we can’t do better. And, I just don’t know how we’ve conceded easy goals so far,” said Soundararajan.

He had an observation to share, made from a few practice sessions he has hosted for his team so far.

“Striker Marcus Tank, I find, is a bit slow with his moves. He’s physically well-built, and has a strong header. But, he’s not as good as Charles de’ Souza, the other striker, when it comes to being quick on the field,” he said.

He added that ‘Keeper Karanjit Singh and midfielder Haroon Amiri are out, injured, and that he will try play Raegan and Regin on Saturday. Santosh, meanwhile, said that the injured Thoi Singh and Lalchhawnkima will most likely miss out for Mumbai.

Soundararajan deemed this match a “final” for his team, for he’s eager to be accepted, to prove that he belongs at the level.

It is evident that both teams are anxious and seek a turnaround on Saturday.

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