Last match counts for nothing, it will be two very attack-minded teams going all out: Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle

Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle has not ruled anything out and is ready to make a turnaround in the second-leg of the semi-final against Kerala Blasters FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama, Goa on Tuesday evening.

After their inflicting 1-0 loss to the Blasters in the first leg that dealt a blow to their winning streak, Coyle is hopeful of his team to come out on the pitch with a positive minded approach and make it to the finals, and is unruffled by their opponent’s first-leg advantage.

Ahead of their tussle in the second leg, the Men of Steel head coach addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.

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

What will be your approach in the second leg after losing in the first leg?

We won’t be changing our approach. Anybody that watches Jamshedpur knows that we go every game with a winning mentality, and we have to win this match if we wish to progress to the finals and for that to happen, we need to score those two goals.

In terms of our approach, similar to our final game of the season (league phase) against ATK Mohun Bagan, we knew that even a small margin or loss would have resulted in us being the Champions and the best team in the country, but we still approached the game to win the match, so our approach won’t change.

We’re very respectful of our opponents, we know they are a good team, but even we know that if we are at our best, it’s a game we can win. We’re looking forward to the game as it is, an opportunity for us to have a quick turnaround in which we were hurt as the loss broke down our winning streak which earned us the league shield making us the best team in the country.

What is the team’s strategy to overcome the multiple injuries that the team has suffered?

Ultimately, we can only play players that are fit and available. We are ready to play the game, particularly the challenge we have with Len [Seiminlen Doungel] missing the game because there’s another wide player coming in the back with Boris, Komal and Farukh missing from the squad. So, we’re decimated in the wide areas, and everybody knows we love to play wide with our wingers which makes us an exciting team to watch as we get the wingers forward, taking full-backs on and being exciting.

We will pick a very positive attack-minded team and we need to concentrate on the ones we do have available. So, it’s a blow to have those players missing for the game but it’s an aspect of football.  Sometimes there might be players missing due to injuries, suspensions, and other different things but we have to carry forward with everything we’ve got with a smile on our faces to go and win a really tough game.

What is the probability of seeing Mobashir Rahman and Sandip Mandi playing on the wings in the next game?

With the number of players, we’ve got injured, everything is a possibility. Mobashir played in that position several times in the last year and did very well, so there’s always an option to play him in that position. He had a wonderful chance to score from that position in the previous game when Greg [Stewart] passed it to him through a free-kick.

So, Mandi and Mobashir, they are all coming through, with all said and done, we’ll put on a very positive team on the pitch for the game. It’ll be naive of me to give away these strategies before we play the next leg against Kerala Blasters, but I assure you it’ll be a positive team who’ll look to win the game.

What is the possibility of you rotating a player in the centre-back position to add an extra player in the front?

Everything is up for grabs in the next game. The bottomline is we’ll pick the best team that is available to win the game and this team has won 10 games out of the last 11, prior to the last game, so there isn’t anything wrong in how we do things at Jamshedpur, we just have to find the right solution for the right spots.

What is your take on the Kerala Blasters FC’s gaffer having a good record in crucial games in his past clubs?

Well, I think it’s a brilliant record. But as I’ve said before, people think a lot about what happened five years ago or 10 years ago or even last year when teams are competing against each other, and I can assure you that what happened three days ago counts for nothing. It’s on the given night of the match that if your players are at their absolute best, and if we are, we can win the game against an incredibly good Kerala Blasters side, and they’ll feel the same way.

So, what happened counts for nothing as it will be two very positive attack minded teams going all out against each other to win the game. Kerala know they have the comfort of drawing the game and progressing to the finals but for us, there’s only one way and that is to win the game and that will be our mindset for the game.

What are your thoughts on the thrilling race for the ‘Golden Glove Award’ between the two shot stoppers?

TP Rehenesh and [Prabhsukhan] Gill are two fantastic goalkeepers and that is obvious because those two teams are where they are currently because even though the strikers play an important role at one end, the goalkeepers play an even more significant role on the other end of the pitch.

Gill has been terrific ever since he has come into their squad, so credit to him. As I’ve said before, Rehenesh has been outstanding for me the two years since he’s come in and hopefully there’s many more years of such brilliance from him. But again, in the next game, both of these goalkeepers have a big role to play in the game. But for me, the focus is on Rehenesh and trying to make sure he’s at his best because if he is, then of course, we have a wonderful opportunity to be in the finals.

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