We have to win every match now to stay at the top: Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle

Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle was pleased with his team’s overall performance as his side secured three points and climbed to the top in the league table after defeating SC East Bengal 1-0 in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Tuesday.

Ishan Pandita (88’) was the difference-maker after scoring another late goal with a towering header to secure three points for Jamshedpur FC.

The result allowed Coyle’s men to leapfrog the competition and reach first place in the points table with 19 points.

Coyle addressed the media after the match. 

Here are excerpts from his post-match press conference:

Another late Ishan (Pandita) winner. How impressed are you with him?

Oh yeah, that’s why I brought him to the football club. He's just a wonderful player. He's going to get better and to be fair, is working his socks off to getting into that starting lineup. He would have been there but he had a bit of an injury. But now you see he’s is free-flowing and moving well in the field with a couple of chances before they actually got the goal. But the header, I mean he’s a natural finisher. And as I mentioned there, if I can continue to have him here, I can help him to improve his game. I mean, the national team is going to have fantastic number nine, that's for sure. But he's wonderful to work with, he's got a great attitude. He's a great kid, the players, everybody, adored him because of his qualities and as a team player. So I can't speak highly enough about him and you know, he really matters to them. He's a wonderful talent. A brilliant header and that’s what he can do, he’s a wonderful player. 

SC East Bengal managed to hold you for a long time. How difficult was this game despite them having all Indian players on the pitch?

Yeah, well, that's where he's been going hard lately. But SCEB has drawn four of the previous five games against Kerala Blasters FC, Mumbai City FC, Hyderabad FC, and Bengaluru FC the only game they lost in the five games was against Northeast United FC  when the man was sent-off. SC East Bengal have shown that how tough is to beat them. Of course, it took us late in the day, we could easily score three, four, or five goals with the chances that we had, but a couple of saves, good defending by SCEB stopped us. But the important thing is you got to be patient, not get frustrated. 

This win takes you to the top of the table. Do you think this is something to rejoice in after the hard-fought game? 

Yeah, well, it's nice. I mean, it's nice to be top of the table. Anybody wants to be top at top of the tables after 20 games, not at eleventh spot. But we would certainly want to be here rather than standing at the bottom. We might have been there, we probably should have more points than what we already have. If you look back at the games, the game here against Chennaiyin FC, you know, how they won the game. So we know that we can go toe to toe with the best teams, we just have to make sure moving forward, we are doing the same things, and working hard. And when we get chances, we are clinical and we have good goalscorers. We'll look to add another one coming in. And there will be real competition within the squad.

The table this season is at sea-saw every day. Do you think it is relentless? 

Yeah, I think that will happen. Because there are some really good teams in the league. And it's very competitive. And that's what you want. We want to grow and develop at the end of the tournament. I think this year has been fantastic. Some of the individual goals, some of the team goals, some of the fantastic quality play, and the promotion of young Indian players coming in.  So I don't think there's any doubt that the league is getting better and better and better. Now everybody's eyeing for the top spots. And that's what makes Hero ISL a fantastic watch. And it's so interesting, so exciting. For our part. We want to make sure we win as many points to keep us up at the top end of the table.

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