Defending was fantastic but want the team to score more goals: Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle

Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle believes his team is capable of qualifying for semi-finals after his side played out an engaging goalless stalemate against Bengaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) on Monday at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

Owen Coyle’s boys were involved in a game that had everything except a goal. With this win, Jamshedpur moved to the second spot on the table with 12 points but missed an opportunity to close the gap on league leaders Mumbai City FC. Both teams created many chances but failed to convert them into a goal. Bengaluru FC now has two draws in a row which puts them second-last on the points table.

After Jamshedpur FC’s draw with Bengaluru FC, coach Coyle addressed the media in the post-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference.

Would you describe this as a scrappy game?

I thought it was two very tough teams, a very competitive game. I wouldn't say scrappy, both teams were tested for the three points, and both teams created some wonderful chances to win the game. Gurpreet showed why he's a top goalkeeper with some wonderful saves. We could have been more clinical with the possession. But the effort and the energy we showed in the latter half is commendable. Bengaluru is a far better side than what possession suggests. So obviously, it was really tough and competitive game.

What’s the update with Nerijus Valkis and how much did you miss him tonight?

Nerijus Valkis is a wonderful player so is Jordan Murray who came out injured from this match. You know, he got to start tonight and looked really lively. He'll be better for that. So of course, it's a blow always to lose any of your players. Valkis obviously pulled up in the warm-up. And we don't want to aggravate the injury, then with injuries to Kumar was real during the game. And we also had Narender on the injury list, he did only lightweight training session yesterday. We were decimated by injury. But the boys showed great spirit, great desire. And we were the team that pushing on to try and win the game early on. But we stood up to everything we were asked, and again, it'll be an important point that moves the company to second spot for the moment. And we just have to keep moving forward with another clean sheet. But I think there's a lot of positives tonight.

Would you be happier with the defending tonight or unhappy with the lack of goals?

I think I was delighted with the defending first and foremost an answer to your question. But the defending is not just about a goalkeeper and back four, the defending comes from the front. Greg Stewart and Jordan Murray, you know, top few outstanding attempts to set up how many times we robbed them in the second half and probably couldn't have gone through. So collectively, the defending was fantastic. In terms of the goals, yes, of course, you want to score goals. And I think I won’t say I’m unhappy. I would just say, we just need to move more clinically.

Did you miss a good chance to close the gap on Mumbai City FC?

Well, if you win three points, of course, we're closing the gap. But as another point closer, I think we were four behind them before the game, now three behind That’s probably the game that we lost against them. So that shows you how well we're doing. We just need to keep the focus on what we do, not about anyone else. We have to focus on Jamshedpur, do the best we can. This is a club that's never been in the playoffs, we want to correct that. The only way we do that this year is by giving a top performance like tonight and looking to the three points instead of the one. But we're working hard. There's a lot of good signs, we just need to keep driving forward.

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