If any team could have won that match, it was us: Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle
Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle felt his team had the better chances to win the match against Kerala Blasters FC that ended in a 1-1 draw but felt it was another valuable point in the race for the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) semi-final race.
The Red Miners took the lead in the match through Greg Stewart but Kerala Blasters FC’s Sahal Abdul Samad scored the equaliser as the game ended 1-1.
The point ensures Jamshedpur FC stay in second place.
Coyle spoke to the media after the match and here are the excerpts from his press conference.
Your team had more goal-bound attempts and looked to be the team on the charge. Are you unhappy with the result?
I think I've got to say I think it was a very good game with two very good teams. I do feel that we edged that in terms of the chances we created. I think we had some wonderful goalscoring chances with four or five on target and obviously scored a wonderful goal with Greg. And then we were caught on the counter-attack because Kerala (Blasters FC) have good players. So we're a little bit disappointed with that. But in terms of the game, I felt if anybody was going to win a game, it was certainly going to be ourselves.
We made positive changes getting Pandita on who had that wonderful chance one on one at the end to win the game. So yeah, we're pleased with that. We just have to say you have to be more clinical.
It's another valuable point, I think, we have 13 points after eight games. I think last year, we had 13 points after 12 games with 15 points after 14 games. So it shows we're moving very much in a forward direction. And that's what we need to do: keep picking points up and also hopefully wins, because we're certainly putting enough into games to win those games.
But there's a lot of really good signs and we're missing five possible starters tonight apart from Farukh who is out for the season.
A few words on Greg Stewart's sunner. Did that strike even obey the laws of physics?
Well, he's a wonderful player. That's why I brought him to the club.
He hadn't, he's not eating for two days, he's had an upset stomach, but he still wanted to be there. And that shows the spirit that we have. These players want to give their 100% and want to be on the field for you even when they are not fully fit. And I love that, you know, as a head coach it's' great. I told him that if he wanted to come off, I'll bring him out but he wanted to stay on.
He scored the goal. And he'll tell you himself, he knows he can do even more in a game. But what a wonderful talent and it's great to have him in the Hero ISL.
Back-to-back draws for Jamshedpur FC. Are you mindful of losing momentum?
No, at the end of the day that's two back-to-back draws against two very good teams coming on the back of the 4-0 against Odisha FC. So it's another valuable point. Who's to say it wouldn't be the most important point in the season to get those playoffs at the end of the season.
But as I mentioned earlier, if we look at our points tally, you know, 13 points in eight games. We had that after 12 games last year. So it tells you the improvement already. So we have six games to obviously make sure that we surpass that total and push on up towards the top end of the league.
Now we see how competitively the league is and there's going to be many drawers, there's going to be lots of twists and turns. We have to just focus on Jamshedpur FC and get players back fit and healthy. Because we've shown that when we are at our very best, we can stand toe to toe with anybody.
The game saw Boris Singh and Ritvik Das start the game. How impressed were you with those players especially considering this was Ritwik's first start?
I was delighted with those two young players. Obviously with Komal's injury, with Len's injury. And also Komal coming in because obviously Farukh was injured in pre-season, did great for me. But of course Boris and Ritwik are waiting in the wings, they are coming into games off the bench and doing well. And they were due a chance tonight. And that's the other thing as well, because people think 'oh, you have players missing? Will you change sides?' No. I have young players ready to play and I'm prepared to give them the opportunity. And they've shown tonight why. They've shown the trust I have and have delivered on the field.
Are the players that were left out any long-term concerns in terms of injuries?
The next game is now a week away from today. I'm hoping that we'll certainly have one or two back. I think with Komal the early assessment was that he would probably be out for three weeks. So that was a week ago. Len, I'm hoping will be available for Chennaiyin. Valskis again, fingers crossed, but again, we need to make sure that we'll look it up properly. Pronay is on his way back. He did some light training today.
And so I'm hoping that I can have two or three back certainly for the Chennaiyin FC game which will help us with a group but what some of these young boys given tonight was outstanding so it'll be hard to dislodge them for the game and even then, you know, Eli Sabia has not started who is an outstanding player because of the foreigner rule. So you know, it'll be great. Eli's ready to play. He's been outstanding this training. So it's great to have him on disposal ready to step into the team.