SC East Bengal's Diaz content with draw, Coyle rues Jamshedpur's missed chances

SC East Bengal manager Jose Manuel Diaz and Jamshedpur FC's Owen Coyle both shared contrasting views after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) encounter.

The Red and Golds took the lead in the 17th minute, courtesy of an acrobatic finish by defender Franjo Prce, from close range. Parity was restored when Jamshedpur’s captain Peter Hartley nodded in a glanced header by Nerijus Valskis in first half stoppage time.

In the second half, both teams were presented opportunities to take home all three points, with the most notable one being a bold attempt by Jackichand Singh to chip TP Rehenesh from the halfway line, but the shot sailed over the crossbar.

While Coyle rued his side's missed chances, Diaz was delighted with his team’s discipline without the ball despite a very short pre-season.

Coyle and Diaz shared his views on the game in the official post-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Coyle’s press conference:

Are there any areas to improve on after this game?

Coyle: Yes, absolutely I mean I am disappointed in the goal we lost. I think it was avoidable. The ball was obviously parried out and then if it falls off people and bounces off each other, so I felt that’s something we could’ve avoided. There weren’t too many opportunities for us, although the dangers of Perosevic and Chima were there, what the chances are, there's not a party proven to be clinical, even with some wonderful chances, that was in the second half. And then we shall deal with it enough to win the game. So of course, as always, there is a lot to improve on.

Regarding your team selection, were you asked to keep Jordan Murray and Greg Stewart on the bench?

Coyle: Jordan was out with a niggly groin and Greg had a little issue with his thigh. And you can see they are both wonderful players. Obviously, that’s a dilemma the head coach will have. Valskis and Alex were outstanding tonight, the two center-backs Sabia and Hartley are wonderful players. So of course, there's going to be a challenge there. In every game we play, ultimately, we have to watch out for an issue like that, and try and win games. And we found we had that tonight.

There were a lot of chances, especially in the second half, your thoughts on that?

Coyle: I totally agree. I think we dominated a large part of the game. SC East Bengal have a wonderful goalkeeper, I know that he broke my heart two years ago in the playoff finals, he is a terrific goalkeeper, and he made one or two wonderful saves tonight, and that’s what he’s there for and that’s why you have to get people to do their job. And yes, we had such wonderful chances in the second half, and we actually should have been clinical. But I’m always accepting that East Bengal were really dangerous with Perosevic, Chima, wonderful players. The second half was filled with chances that could’ve led to a possible goal.

Jamshedpur kept pushing for the equalizer in the first half, your thoughts on the attitude of the players?

Coyle: We have that never-say-die attitude. And that doesn’t change in the halftime. We want all three points. And East Bengal made it difficult, you know, they were working hard, they have a terrific coach, a man that's got an absolute great pedigree, and they showed real steel and real grit. But we did have opportunities, so I think there were a lot of pleasing aspects, and equally, the stuff that we need to work with the team moving forward.

You made many tactical changes during the match, how good is it to have a winning squad?

Coyle: I think that's an important one that we have. I didn't have that much last year, because we were limited in terms of substitution. But know what we're trying to build is a squad. We're not quite there yet, but we're starting to build the squad and get quality players to Jamshedpur so that we can have some longevity and build something and I think we are getting there. That being said, when we make those changes, we want all three points but we do have the opportunity to do that currently.

Here are the excerpts from Diaz’s press conference:

What is your take on the team’s performance?

Diaz: We are happy with the point because we started the season very late and at the moment we need to improve our level. So keeping that in mind, one point is not bad.

We saw a lot of your players getting cramps at the end of the match. A word on the fitness of the players. Were they not completely fit yet?

Diaz: The problem is we had a lot of time in quarantine. So we need more practice.

Did you feel there was a lack of creativity in the side? And how will you tackle it against a team like ATK Mohun Bagan?

Diaz: We played very well the first half mainly without the ball but with the ball in the first half we had problems. Second half we played better. We know the derby is important for the fans and the players will have to live up to the club’s stature.

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