Have to be at our absolute best if we want to beat Bengaluru FC: Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle

Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle wants his team to be their best selves and not get carried away with the results in their latest games, as his side clashes with Bengaluru FC in match 36 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

Coyle heaped praise on his team and admitted he’s delighted with his players after last game’s 4-0 victory over Odisha FC but urged them to be focused on the Bengaluru FC game.

Further, Coyle shared Christmas greetings with the Jamshedpur FC fans, hoping to see them back in the stadium in 2022, if the conditions are favourable.

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

Here are the excerpts from Coyle’s press conference:

Bengaluru have been struggling in the league so far. So, how big of a threat can Bengaluru FC be with the likes of Cleiton Silva, Sunil Chhetri, and Jayesh Rane?

I’ve always said this before that people judge based on the results. If you look at the individual performance of Bengaluru and look at each and every game that they’ve played, you’ll know that they have been in control. So, I’m under no illusions as to how difficult the game against Bengaluru is going to be.

They have a wonderful coach, they have a quality set of players, and we know as a group that it’s going to be a tough game. We have to be focused and be at our very best because it’s a wonderful team, and they, certainly in my opinion, should have more points than they have at this moment of time.

How will Jamshedpur FC approach the upcoming games after the victory against Odisha FC in the last game?

We will approach the games as we’ve approached the previous ones and it really is one game at a time because it is such a tight fixture list. We have injury concerns, and we’ll have that almost every game, so it would be very naive to look too far ahead.

We have to focus on the Bengaluru game and make sure we’re fresh and ready to give our best and be our best, and if we are, of course, we feel it’s a game we can win. But it will be a difficult game because Bengaluru are a tough side.  

What are your thoughts on Greg Stewart’s brilliance, and do you think he’s the best player in the league at the moment?

Greg Stewart’s a wonderful player, that’s the reason I brought him to Jamshedpur, and I told everybody in the pre-season about the qualities he possesses and it’s obviously nice when that’s vindicated, and everybody can see why we brought him here.

He’s a wonderful player both on and off the pitch, anybody in our group will tell you that he’s got a loving personality, a caring nature, and he’s a real team player. He can create a goal, score a goal, works extremely hard against the ball and with the ball, and that’s exactly what we need. There are fantastic players in the league and Greg’s certainly one of them.

Komal Thatal has been starting every game. What is your assessment regarding his performance? And how difficult of a decision to keep Boris Singh on the bench?

I’ve been delighted with Komal Thatal as I have been with young Boris. I mean, they’re both fantastic young players and that’s why we brought them to the club. I certainly liked everything I've seen about them, and I was aggressive about signing and bringing them to the football club because they're young, they have potential and they're getting better all the time.

I’m delighted with two young, exciting talents and of course, fighting for spots but that’s not to say the two of them can’t play together because they’re putting real pressure on Len [Seiminlen Doungel] as well - who, by the way, is outstanding too.

With Jordan Murray slowly coming back from injury, can we expect more rotation between Nerijus Valskis and Murray?

The bottom line is Jordan Murray is an outstanding player as is Nerijus Valskis. Nek [Valskis] never scored in the game last night, he was outstanding, he was close with 2-3 headers, led the line, and brought us up in the park. You know, sometimes strikers don’t have to score to contribute and that’s what Nek did there in the last game.

Of course, when Jordan comes in, there will be a real competition and again, who’s to say we can’t play them together. So, we definitely want all our foreign players to be healthy, at their absolute best and then we pick the four from there which will be a real challenge in itself because of the quality of our foreign players this season.

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