Football brings many challenges, but we are ready to give our everything: Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle on 10-day quarantine

Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle wants his players to continue building with the same momentum overcoming their 16-day gap due to Covid-19, as his side faces FC Goa in match 74 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season on Friday at the Athletic Stadium in Panaji, Goa.

Jamshedpur FC faced quite the adversity after a breach in their bio-bubble led them into quarantine and miss out on training for over 10 days. Coyle admitted that it was a tough challenge for his players to get through mentally as well as physically but wants them to chin up and give their best to overcome such challenging times.

Ahead of his side’s clash against FC Goa, Coyle addressed the media during a pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the coach’s press conference: 

Almost 10 days without training and 16 days without a match. How difficult is it going to be to come again and play FC Goa?

Yes, I don’t think there’s any doubt it would be a difficult match for a number of reasons. Number one obviously being the lack of training, being in quarantine for such a long period. Of course, that’s a challenge both physically and mentally for the lads. But we managed to get on the grass at different stages where we’ve had seven to eight players that have trained for three days, we’ve had four or five players train for two days and some for one day.

Ultimately, it is what it is. The other challenge is that we’re playing a particularly good FC Goa side. They have some wonderfully talented players, probably not the results that their performances have merited, and that’s the challenge in the Indian Super League, we’ve got to make sure we’re at our best. Obviously, the break didn’t come at a good time for us because we started building momentum again, playing very well and showing the spirit, the desire, and the quality that we have.     

They have a terrific head coach in Derrick [Pereira] and Clifford [Miranda] is there too. I know the quality of both men, but again, it’s a game we’re looking forward to, we want to go and try to win the game, get another three points and that’s certainly the aim for our match.

Can this break also prove to be an advantage in hindsight?

In terms of advantages, people will say, obviously they’re fresh, but we’re not fresh because we’ve been stuck in a room and you can’t leave the room for over two weeks, so that’s a big challenge. I don’t see any advantage in the fact that we’ve not been able to play, and we’ve been stuck in a room in quarantine. There’s certainly no advantage there.

But that being said, that’s what football brings. It brings you many challenges, it makes a difference in each game, there’s a different challenge in many ways, and this one’s a big challenge because of the lack of activity we’ve had on the field after beating NorthEast and then East Bengal and wanting to carry that momentum on. So, we’ve already seen a number of teams that haven’t been as fluent as they normally are because of the break they’ve had.

So, we have to make sure that we're fresh and ready to give our everything that we always do as Jamshedpur FC anyway. Everybody knows the characteristics of our team, the quality we have, but how hard we work, how much we stick together and that's what we have to do against a very good FC Goa team.

How much of a motivation is it for the team to compete for the top spot in the league table?

Well, the motivation is different to finish in the top place at the end of the season. That’s the motivation and every game helps you to do that. If you’re on top of the league right now, it counts for nothing. It’s nice to be there, of course, it is because you gathered the points that took you there.

But the time to be there in the top four spots is after the game 20 of the league, that’s the time to be there. But the only way to do that is to pick up points in tough games which FC Goa is. We want to continue the momentum that we had prior to the enforced break. We know it's two top quality teams and we'll do everything in our power to try and win a tough game.

The supporters are very excited about the signing of Daniel Chima. How big of a boost is it to have a player of this calibre?

I’m delighted to bring Daniel Chima. I’ve admired him for many years. I knew of his exploits at Molde FK [Chima’s former club] when he was a three-time champion working with Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] and they had spoken to a number of people about him. I liked him when he came into the league and even if you look at his individual performances, he did so well with East Bengal.

He was isolated a lot of time on the left upfront, but he carried the fight, which shows that he’s a real team player, sacrificed himself for the sake of his team and those are the hallmarks of an exceptionally good player. Obviously, it'll take time to build up that fitness, mentality, and everything that we're about at Jamshedpur.

The players have welcomed him. He’s a lovely lad, working hard in the two training sessions that he’s had and it’s great to have another quality striker to complement Jordan Murray, Ishan Pandita, and those boys will do very well for this football club.

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