Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory said that the Indian Super League’s decision to allow only five foreign players in the starting XI of each team is a positive step. According to Gregory, some of the Indian players have been “in awe” of the foreign players and have “possibly not been given the opportunity to prove themselves.”
“If it’s a choice between foreign and Indian players, the foreigners always get selected. So I’m impressed with the new regulations that allow only five foreigners in the starting XI. That’s a positive step. That will ultimately improve the national team,” he told reporters in Chennai. He also said that the ISL is something that garners worldwide interest now. “I believe ISL is growing quickly and back in England, I’ve seen how it started three years ago and now there is world wide interest in it. Also, I’m joining a club and following the footsteps of Marco Materazzi, who has done an amazing job here,” he said, “He has left a big pair of shoes for me to try and fill. But hopefully I can bring success to this team.”
Marco Materazzi led the team from the inaugural ISL season in 2013 until the 2016 season. Under him, the team reached the semi-final in the first season and won the tournament in the second. The third season proved to be a failure with the side being unable to replicate the form of the last two seasons and ending up second to bottom on the league standings.
“One thing I want is if you wear the Chennaiyin shirt, you have to give 100 per cent,” said Gregory about his approach to the team, “You have to commit yourself completely to the team. That sort of players will get my support. I expect discipline and players conducting themselves properly on the pitch, and don’t get involved with the referee or opposition.”