Owen Coyle is optimistic about Chennaiyin FC finishing stronger than they started, as they face Juan Pedro Benali's NorthEast United FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai on Tuesday during Matchweek 21 of the Indian Super League (ISL).

The Marina Machans currently stand one spot above the Highlanders with 24 points from seven victories and three draws. Coyle and his men have had a recent run of good form, winning three of their last five outings. Meanwhile, NorthEast United FC has had a bit of mixed form recently, winning twice, losing twice, and drawing (2-2) against Hyderabad FC. The Highlanders will be looking for nothing less than a win to stay alive in the qualifying race, just like Chennaiyin FC, when they face each other.

Head coach Owen Coyle began the press conference, giving his insights into the mood in the camp after their late surge in the season.

"People just look at results, but we'd been playing well prior to that. The lads are working very hard as they always do and what we have to do is continue what we've done. Focus on NorthEast United FC, and replicating the performance we've had of late and get those three points against a very good side. A side that's very much in the mix. Six teams were fighting for that sixth position. Now it's down to three teams. So we just have to concentrate on what we do. We need to be our best and our best we've shown that we can win games," he stated during the press conference.

The vastly experienced Scott had high praise for the squad's approach, mentality, cohesion, and appetite. He was particularly impressed with the development players on the team. The Scott also indicated that he has a lot of trust in the team to finish the season strongly, despite their slow start.

"The lads, they're equipping themselves so well, they are a tremendous bunch of lads to work with. Of course, at times we can say well we want a better final decision or a better quality, but I'll never say anything about their appetite, their work rate, or their endeavor, because they bring that in abundance and they're a fantastic group to work with," he said.

"We want to keep adding that quality and if we do that, we can win games. So, this is a time to be consistent. This is a time to stand up and show your quality. It's never how you start in the league, it's how you finish," the coach added.

The head coach gave his opinion on their next opponents and fellow competitors for the last playoff spot, noting how they have exceeded expectations since the pre-season.

He replied, "I think people say much wasn't expected because of what happened to them last year. But if you look at what they did in the summer with the young players that were emerging and the very good foreign players that they signed, and they've invested obviously more this year than what they had previously, all credit to them."

He continued, "Northeast United FC, they've got a very good balance, a good mix between the foreign players and the domestic lads, some emerging young talent because that area always has terrific young-talented players and they're the prime spot to get first choices out of that, as it should be."

"It's a huge game, It's a game I loved as a player, this is a game I wanted to play as a player, To stand toe to toe with your opponent and show them I can play... And if we do that, it will serve us well. But yeah, very good opponents, did very well and some good players," he added.

I think I'm a more complete player than last season: Aakash Sangwan

Aakash Sangwan accompanied head coach Owen Coyle during the pre-match press conference ahead of their clash against NorthEast United FC.

Sangwan has been having one of his best seasons yet in the Indian Super League (ISL) this year, under the guidance of coach Coyle. The 28-year-old defender, who is playing his second season, has helped his team earn two clean sheets so far and has provided 24 vital clearances, while also being a reliable passing option on the flanks. In addition, he scored a stunning match-winning goal against Kerala Blasters FC in a tough home game.

Sangwan was asked to state the level of satisfaction with his performances so far this season.

"So if I compare myself to the last season, I think I'm a more complete player than last season because I've been better defensively and it's all because of the coach and the guys in the team. This year, it feels more like playing for each other rather than last year and that's a big thing for me," he said.

The team has been playing well in recent games. Sangwan was quizzed about the changes within the team that led to good results.

"Personally I feel that earlier we were lacking the two most important things as players, which is not to concede easy goals and to finish the ones we are supposed to finish. These we were lacking. But now in the recent games against Odisha FC, Mohun Bagan Super Giant, and Jamshedpur FC last game we did that, and that got us the results," he stated as the press conference concluded.