Thirty-one points is nice, but it won’t earn you a semi-final spot: Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle

Jamshedpur FC cruised past Chennaiyin FC with ease in a 4-1 victory in Match 96 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa on Sunday evening.

The Men of Steel head coach Owen Coyle was delighted with his team’s performance and stated that the job isn’t finished yet, with a sight to claim the semi-final spot by attaining as many points as possible.

Match Report: Jamshedpur FC fire four past Chennaiyin FC; climb up to the second spot

Three first-half strikes from Ritwik Das, Boris Singh, and Daniel Chukwu gave the Men of Steel a head start. An early second-half own goal from Deepak Devendra added to the advantage of the Owen Coyle-led side.

The 55-year-old also stated that he was grateful to the Jamshedpur FC media, staff, medical team, and the crew behind the pitch for making his job easier.

Coyle addressed the media after the match.

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

Jamshedpur FC are at 31 points now, is the job almost done to secure the semi-final spot?

Well, 31 points is nice, but it won’t earn you a semi-final spot. We have to attain a lot more points I believe. Given what everybody is doing and the performance from the other teams is fantastic, you know, Hyderabad, ATK Mohun Bagan, Kerala Blasters, Mumbai, Bengaluru, they aren't finished yet. So, I certainly believe we need at least another five points.

I think 36 [points] would certainly guarantee the semi-final spot. I think 39 would probably get you the shield, maybe a little less for the semi-finals because everybody’s playing each other. But that being said, we just have to concentrate on what we can do. We’re on 31, we’ve another tough game coming in five days. We have to make sure we win that and go onto 34. NorthEast are going to make it tough, we saw that the other night.  

What are your thoughts on Ritwik Das’ 2 goals in 2 matches?

I brought him right back to the club because I saw something in him. He’d been released from Kerala. They didn’t think he was good enough as with most of my boys, everybody else didn't think they’re good enough, but I’ve seen something in them, there were qualities in them with which I could work. Bring them into how we work at Jamshedpur.

Rick [Lallawmawma], Boris [Singh], Komal [Thatal] who was out injured, Farukh [Choudhary] who came back from Mumbai last year, all of these have excelled. These boys have just given their everything for Jamshedpur and that’s what we want. Ritwik and Boris were outstanding. Ritwik, 2 goals in 2 games, may as well continue his form.    

You expect the foreign players to be good players but when you see the Indian players, they’re developing and growing as these young kids are, it’s fantastic for me to see.

Jamshedpur FC won this game with the likes of Alex Lima and Ishan Pandita on the bench. What are your thoughts on it?

Yes, that's I mean that's a very fair question and the answer is it's very tough because Alex has been outstanding. Obviously the four foreigners we changed, and we went, we went with Eli [Sabia] and the skipper to secure us in the back, and obviously Daniel, up top with Greg Stewart, arguably the best player in the league.

Of course, Alex is the one that's been compromised a little bit, but when you've seen him come on, Alex is outstanding and the great thing about Alex is that he’s such a good professional and he wants the best for the team, but he knows he'll play. He may very well be the starter against NorthEast. So, we have to look at each game on an individual basis.

Young Ishan is a wonderful striker, but we have incredibly good strikers in Daniel Chima and Jordan Murray who's not quite fully fit yet, but Ishan will get his minutes as you see with no fear of playing him, he started against Mumbai, we bring him on 30 minutes to go, he allows a goal threat. So, it's great to have that quality strike and that's what we’ve tried to do. We've tried to build a squad that if somebody's injured or missing, we can bring somebody else in about freshness and that's what I like to continue to do.

Jamshedpur FC have goal contributions from almost all players throughout the season. What’s your take on that?

Very much so because it's great to have talented individual players, but our strength as Jamshedpur is as a group and you know, Greg Stewart is only as good as a man next to him, and Daniel Chima is only as good as a man next to him. And that’s how we work on a daily basis.

We work in togetherness and it's great to have 11 or 12 goalscorers at the club, whatever we have, that shows you it's very much a team at Jamshedpur and we're all in it together, not just the players, the staff, how hard they work behind the scenes, the crew, the media, all the medical staff, I can't thank them enough that I mean from the first minute working with them, they're just an outstanding group to work with. They really are and they certainly make my job easier.

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