Owen Coyle: We were terrific from the first whistle to the last

Chennaiyin FC earned their first away win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 as they beat Hyderabad FC 3-1 at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Friday. Nerijus Valskis was the Hero of the Match with a brace and an assist to his name. The win now takes the two-time champions to within four points of the top four – a margin which will surely encourage their head coach Owen Coyle.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Coyle praised the effort of his team, stating, “There is a lot of work to be done but (the win) keeps us on target. Coming in, there was a lot of work to be done. We were disappointed with our performance against Odisha in the first half. As a football club, we hadn’t won away from home since November 2018 and that’s not good enough for a club who have been two-time champions.”

He continued, “Tonight, we managed to (win away from home). We were terrific tonight from the first whistle to the last. We are disappointed to not get a clean sheet. We had good possession. The strike from Marcelo Pereira, you can see why he is one of the top players in the league. It was a wonderful goal from him. My disappointment is as to how he was allowed to have the ball in the first place.”

“That being said, Nerijus could have had a hat-trick. We scored three goals but could have had five or six. Our football tonight was terrific. I think the other teams in the league will look and think that Chennai are a real force going forward, and that’s why we need to be tight at the back. A clean sheet will help. We moved up the table and it gives us a real chance of pushing up in the league,” added the Chennaiyin boss.

Coyle also revealed his message to the players ahead of the Hyderabad clash. “My focus tonight was to have a good performance for the duration of the match, from the first whistle to the end and we did it. Our intent was clear, we were here to win against top opponents. The energy and the enthusiasm, I was delighted with that. We were outstanding. We are probably the only team in the league who start with two young Indian players in midfield. I trust (Anirudh) Thapa and Germanpreet (Singh). Their energy was outstanding tonight. So, all in all, it was a brilliant night for us,” he said.

Read the Match Report here.

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