Owen Coyle: Have to make sure that we see our advantage through

Chennaiyin FC will be looking to confirm their spot in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 final when they face off against FC Goa for the second leg of their semi-final clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday. The Marina Machans hold an advantageous position after winning the first leg 4-1 at home but cannot afford to take the dangerous Gaurs lightly.

At the pre-match press conference, head coach Owen Coyle reiterated the same sentiments and said, “I think when you have an advantage, it’s good. We know it’s a very dangerous game. We’re playing against an outstanding team, a team that finished on top of the table for a reason. We have huge respect for FC Goa and that wont change. It’s great to have any advantage and we have to make sure that we see the advantage through. We have to make sure that we are at our very best.”

The 53-year-old then added that the onus will be on Goa to get a result out of the match. “It’s not us who have to turn things around, its Goa. We have to stay focused in playing our game. We won’t change our style. We have shown that we are a goal threat and Goa know that. They know up close that we can create and score goals. Goa have some wonderful players and we have huge respect for them and how they play. It’s set to be a fantastic game. We come here with confidence in our advantage,” he said.

Goa, who finished as the table toppers, are set to be presented with the League Winners Shield leading up to the tie. Addressing it, Coyle noted, “The league will present FC Goa with the Hero ISL League Winners Shield and rightly so. It is a magnificent achievement, and we will give them a guard of honour. We have no problem with that because we have a lot of respect for them. But when that game starts, we will be focused on that game and see ourselves to the final. In order to do that we need to be at our best.”

“That being said, we’re nine games unbeaten now and if you look at the last eight games of the league phase, then Chennaiyin took the most points. So, we know we’re a good side, we know we have good players. We’ve shown good mentality and desire. Before the Hyderabad game we hadn’t won away from home since November 2018. Then we won five. So, we come here at a difficult venue (with the confidence to get the required result away from home). We need to make sure we’re focused, and we need to be at our best,” he added.

Coyle was joined by Andre Schembri, who spoke about the season, both from his own and the team’s perspective, and said, “I still believe in helping my team reach it’s targets. It’s not only about scoring the goals; I have to help the team qualify for the final. The change of management was important for us. There was a change in philosophy and mindset, which was important. That’s what we’re seeing now in the form of positive performances.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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