Bhubaneswar: An upbeat Chennayin FC will take on injury-plagued NorthEast United FC in the last quarterfinal of the Hero Super Cup 2019 at the Kalinga Stadium here Sunday.
Talking about his side's preparation for Sunday's clash, Chennaiyin head coach John Gregory said, "We have obviously been travelling. We have had one day to recover from the AFC Cup game. But our focus is now the game against NorthEast. The boys are ready and all of them are raring to go.
"I've got a fit squad which has always been a benefit for me. I've got everybody to choose from. We've got no real injury doubts. It's brilliant to have Dhanpal Ganesh back after missing the Hero ISL season. To have him back at such a crucial time is a real pleasure."
The Englishman, then, gave his opinion about the opposition and stated, "We had a poor Hero ISL season and NorthEast had a fantastic season. First time ever they qualified for the semifinals. The coach and his players should get a lot of credit for having such a great season.
"But we now move to the Hero Super Cup. We are confident after having beaten Mumbai City FC in the previous round but they are the favourites."
Asked if lack of goals is a cause of concern for him, Gregory said, "Goal scoring has been an issue all season. Look at the top four, the boys who qualified for the Hero ISL semifinals have all got an outstanding goalscorer in their team.
"This was one area we didn't do well in. Jeje (Lalpekhlua) has scored two in his last two appearances. CK Vineeth scored a couple of goals since he's been with us. They need a bit of time playing together."
NorthEast coach Eelco Schattorie, however, said that the team's preparations haven't been ideal.
"The preparation for this match didn't go smoothly. At this moment, I have in total 15 players plus two goalkeepers. From those, one is suspended, and one can only play 15-20 mins. That means I have in total of 13 players. That is a very small group. That is not an excuse, but it is relevant. We will go all out. We will go for the win," he said.