Pune, Dec 4 : Cheniyin FC need only a draw to qualify for the Indian Super League (ISL) semi-fils and coach Marco Materazzi dismissed suggestions that an altered travel plan could leave them exhausted ahead of their crucial concluding league clash against FC Pune City in Pune on Saturday.
Cheniyin FC travelled by road from Cheni to Tirupati air base and then chartered a flight to Mumbai after Cheni was submerged under flood water due to incessant rain. The travel to Pune took considerable time but Materazzi said it would not be a disadvantage.
“When you have this kind of chance, this kind of game, it does not matter how much you travel. Would have done the distance even walking but I am thinking of the people of Cheni who are suffering. We are privileged people and it does not matter if we travel for one or two days,” Materazzi said during the pre-match media briefing on Friday.
Fourteen days ago, Cheniyin FC were at the bottom of the table but Materazzi’s team has scripted a remarkable turround with big wins over Kerala Blasters (4-1), Delhi Dymos (4-0) and Mumbai City FC (3-0).
“It’s about the players because they had what it took to put in practice what I told them. I kept telling them they had the technical skills, they only had to play as a team. It’s largely because of the intelligence of my players,” said Materazzi.
Cheniyin FC are placed fifth at the moment with 19 points from 13 matches, just one behind NorthEast United FC. Cheniyin have a better goal average compared to NorthEast United and only a FC Pune City win will knock them out of the league. IANS