Defending champions Chennaiyin FC coach Marco Materazzi is finding the going tough in the race to earn a play-off berth in the Indian Super League, replying only in monosyllables in a pre-match press conference that lasted just over a minute, here today.
The ‘Matrix’ went winless five games in a row – his worst run in ISL history – before scripting a 2-0 win over FC Pune City in the previous game.
The victory should have eased the pressure on Materazzi but the Italian World Cup winner left journalists perplexed with his behaviour and replied in single syllables during the League’s mandated pre-match media conference.
The press conference held at the home team (Chennaiyin FC) hotel lasted precisely a minute and 20 seconds, failing to elicit any worthy of a response from the coach, who has been with the team for third year in a row.
The longest answer one could get from the coach was “it has been important” to sum up the club’s previous win against FC Pune City.
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As for the next three media questions on his plan to tackle Iain Hume (of Atletico de Kolkata), team’s injury update and suspensions – all evoked a simple one-word reply, “no” before journalists gave up.
Marco had missed the previous post match press conference as well on Tuesday night.
It was the same coach, who after losing to Delhi Dynamos early into this season, had used the media conference as a platform to urge his players to show love for the club.
Marco had also served an ultimatum to the squad, warning that he will not come back to India if the team doesn’t make it to the semis.
Off late he had called for the fans to support Chennaiyin FC through media conferences, however, today’s behaviour left everyone wondering.
According to sources, the word out there is that he is not speaking to anyone.
Chennaiyin FC are currently placed sixth on the table with 13 points from 10 matches. Materazzi has been under pressure at Chennaiyin FC for a while and his behaviour since being suspended for an altercation with Kerala Blasters striker Kervens Belfort has left many, including his own team, confused.
The defending champions have been in poor form this season, unable to dominate games like they did last season when they emerged champions. Chennaiyin FC lost their opening match 1-3 against Delhi Dynamos, lost the away clash 1-4 against the same opponents in the second leg and then followed it up with another disappointing 1-3 defeat against Southern rivals Kerala Blasters.