Coimbatore: Winless in over a month ever since that miraculous win over Mohun Bagan, Chennai City take on Shillong Lajong in a must-win encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.
Just two wins in 14 games means the Southern club is lingering in the second last position with just 12 points, most of which have come from draws. That they have not managed to win a single game ever since that shock victory over the Mariners, obtaining just five points from a possible 21 stands testimony that their campaign have only been a one way journey — downwards.
“The only problem has been scoring goals,” said head coach V Soundarajan ahead of the match against Lajong. “Last day, we tried a combination of twin strikers — Jean Joachim and Aleksander” but that has not solved their stacking woes.
French forward Joachim who began well and is also their top-scorer with five goals to his name, has however gone on a dry spell with no goals in the last seven — none of which were won by Chennai City.
“The strategy is to win the game. Winning is important for us. We haven’t yet won in Coimbatore so it is important to win. The fact that we haven’t won at home is a drawback,” he added.
But on Sunday, Soundarajan believes the climate will play as an advantage for them. “Shillong have been playing in cold weather so the climate condition could be an advantage for us.”
Lajong coach Alison Kharsyntiew however pointed out a different side to the climate story. “It is not the first time for us (in humid conditions). We have played in Guwahati, calicut. I don’t think the weather is going to affect us,” he remarked.
The ‘Reds’ may be fifth on the table with 17 points from 15 games but have last won against Neroca four matches ago. The remaining three have all resulted in heavy defeats, with the 0-3 loss to Bagan the biggest by margins.
“The players have improved but as a team, we have not been consistent. We want to focus on out to finishing,” Kharsyntiew added.