Owen Coyle: Only our best will be good enough against Mumbai
Chennaiyin FC take on Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday. A win in the fixture will confirm the Marina Machans a spot in the semi-finals but the Islanders will also have the same objective.
At the pre-match press conference, Chennaiyin head coach Owen Coyle reiterated the importance of the tie and said, “Mumbai are a very big team with a very good coach. They are a team you have to have respect for. We will do everything to win the game. That’s our focus. People might say that we can draw and go to NorthEast United and win to qualify. But we won’t concentrate on that. We will concentrate on the win. If we do, we know that we are in the top four with a game to spare. We have worked so hard. Having got to this point we should see it through it and finish the job. Mumbai have some terrific individual players. We have to be ready for the challenge because we have so much to play for.”
“Mumbai are a very good side and only our best will be good enough to beat them. There’s no doubt about that. We have to find their weakness and target these when we find them,” he added.
When Coyle took over Chennaiyin’s reins a few matches into the season, the team was languishing near the bottom of the table. From that dire situation to having a more than realistic shot at a place in the semi-finals, it has been a journey to cherish for both Coyle and the fans. Speaking about the brilliant turnaround, Coyle opined, “We have been fighting for our lives since I joined the club. We were bottom of the league and no one gave us a chance. So, as a team we are used to playing under pressure because unless we win, we are out of the race for the top four. So, we play to win and not to draw. It’s been a joy to work with the players every day. My players want to play in big games.”
“There’s no doubt that Mumbai will be aware of the threats that we have. But we are not one dimensional. We have many different facets to our play. The reason we play so well is because of the strength we have behind us. The captain (Lucian Goian) has set high standards, Eli (Sabia) has been outstanding. We have a number of players who have a role to play. (Rafael) Crivellaro has been asked to go ahead and provide the attacking support. The likes of Anirudh Thapa, Nerijus Valskis, Andre Schembri, Lallianzuala Chhangte and others will suggest that we have very good individual players, but our strength lies as a group,” he added
He was joined by Lucian Goian, who spoke about going up against his former club and said, “It’s going to be strange because I had some great moments here. But now I am in Chennaiyin. We are very confident the last three games show that we can win against any kind of opposition. We are looking forward for the game and I’m sure it’s going to be a great game.”
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