SC East Bengal have been persistent; we’ll have to be at our best to beat them: Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle

Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle was delighted by his team’s performances in the first half of the season and wants them to be clinical in the second half of the season to finish in the top four and play in the semi-finals, as his side battles it out against SC East Bengal in matchday 57 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season on Tuesday at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

Coyle stated that there were several key learnings for his team from the first half of the season and urged his team to work on those aspects to move upwards in the table in the second half of the season. Meanwhile, the Scottish head coach hailed skipper Peter Hartley’s dedication and determination for the game as he will make his 450th club appearance in his career provided that he plays the game against SC East Bengal.

Ahead of his team’s clash against SC East Bengal, Coyle addressed the media during a pre-match press conference.

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

First half of the season is over, and Jamshedpur FC have 16 points in 10 games. What do you make of the season so far?

I think we did well to a point. If I’m being honest, I feel our performances probably should’ve earned us more points, but then again, we have to be clinical at the right moments. I think we’ve had more attempts at goal than anybody else in the league through some incredibly good play.

We’re entertaining, good to watch, and we’re exciting too. So, we've been pleased by the progress, but we think there's still more to come from us and that's what we've got to keep striving for. What’s important now is that we have to make sure we look to accumulate more points than we did in the first half of the season. If we do that then of course, that will take us to the top four, to get the chance to win the coveted play-off shield.

What is your assessment of the SC East Bengal side?

I’ve been very impressed by them lately. Credit to Renedy Singh who is showing all the hallmarks and traits of being an outstanding coach moving forward. But we have to make sure we’re at our absolute best to win this tough game. But if we are, we know that we’re capable of winning because we know when we’re at our best, we can win games in this league.

This East Bengal team have been working their socks off, the last few games have been so evident, every one of them putting the shoulder to the wheel, helping their teammates. I’m very impressed with their appetite and work rate. So, we have to make sure we look to play our football.

How impressed are you with Mobashir Rahman and Jitendra Singh and are we going to see more of this duo in the upcoming fixtures?

Well first and foremost, the two lads did very well. Jitendra, I think has learned a lot from his development in the last season by working with us, he’s taking a lot of things on board and there’s more to come from him.

Mobashir played a lot last season but obviously was injured. Now he’s coming back healthy which is like adding a new player to your ranks so that’s been great. I have no fear in putting the two kids together in the middle of the park because I love their attitude, I love their drive and desire to win and they're both great kids, so, yes, there's every chance that they can play again together because they've already shown that they've done that in a winning team.

But what we want is competition for places. So of course, we have different formations, distinctive styles, different personnel if we want to chop and change when we want to do it.

Peter Hartley will complete 450 club appearances shall he play on Tuesday. What’s your take on the skipper?

I've seen him, you know, as an observer watching games and I was always extremely impressed by, obviously, his ability, but his leadership qualities, you know, he's a proper leader. He puts his neck on the line, he's brave, he's commanding, he inspires, and he's got a real desire and a fire in him, which I love.

And he's been a particularly good captain, a very good player for Jamshedpur and you know, it will be 450, but there's many more appearances to come because he looks after himself. He keeps himself in great shape and he's got a real desire to play as long as he can. So, if it happens then fantastic for him.

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