Coyle: There's still enough time to turn things around

Chennaiyin FC begin their journey under new head coach Owen Coyle with a clash against Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Monday. The two-time Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) champions appointed the Scotland-born Irishmen shortly after parting ways with former head coach, John Gregory, and will be hoping that their decision is vindicated right from the first match itself.

Speaking at his first-ever press conference as the Chennaiyin boss, Coyle outlined his vision and initial observations of the club. He said, “I think there’s no doubt that the club has a very good standing, former champions as you know. After being champions, it was a disappointing campaign last season. And then, they made a relatively slow start this term given the club’s standing. That being said, I think there’s certainly enough time to change that.”

Illustrating his impressions on the Hero ISL, he added, “I’ve always been an admirer of the league for many years because a lot of colleagues and friends of mine have worked in the league. When you are a football lover, you take stock of all the leagues in the world, particularly the emerging leagues which the Hero ISL is.”

The 53-year-old revealed that he was already aware of the quality of the squad he inherited and stated, “So, having watched the league and having looked at the players, I think the club has a good squad. And this season there has been a lot of draws. It shows that if you can gain momentum and get a few wins back to back, it can put you back up the league table. We have a lot of work to do, but it is possible that we can make the semis. That’s why I am here. I truly believe that we can make the charge to get to the semis. And once you make it, you are capable of being champions. The first aim is to start winning games and trying to do it consistently. And by doing that, move up the league.”

“We have really good pieces in our team. We just have to put them together and have that desire to go on that run. It will be difficult but it’s certainly achievable. So, that for me was a great challenge which led me to come here. If I felt that there wasn’t a chance of us competing at the top end of the table, then I wouldn’t have come. But I truly believe that we are capable of achieving the end goal,” added Coyle.

He also praised the potential of the Jamshedpur squad, although felt his players had nothing to fear going into the match. He maintained, “I do recognize that there are a lot of good opponents in the league. We start against a very good footballing team with some fantastic players. They have some very good individual players within the team framework.”

“So, we are very respectful of the opponents because we think they have good quality. But we don’t come in fear of them. We come with an understanding of how good they are, but also believing in the group that we have. If we are at our very best, then we can win the game,” said the former Burnley manager.

Finally, Coyle expressed his gratitude for the welcome he has received since taking over the club. He said, “It’s a great club, a fantastic club. Very honourable people, great owners. The welcome I’ve had from the backroom staff and the players has been great. It’s been humbling. So, what we have to do now is play our part to deliver and go and win games. We have to deliver on the field. There is enough quality to go and win games.”

Chennaiyin skipper Lucian Goian, who was at the briefing, echoed his new head coach’s sentiments and noted, “This kind of transitions (new head coach) happen in football. We have to show that we are professional players and we have to manage and adapt. We have no time to waste because the time between the games is very short. So, we have to adapt. The coach is coming with some positive energy. I’m sure he will make each one of us give their maximum, because, like he said, we have quality.”

Read the Match Preview here.

Your Comments