We know we can compete and get better: Chennaiyin FC's Owen Coyle
Owen Coyle shares his thoughts ahead of Chennaiyin FC's home against East Bengal FC.
Chennaiyin FC head coach Owen Coyle acknowledged his side's work ethic and effort despite their struggles ahead of their Indian Super League (ISL) game against East Bengal FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, on Saturday.
Chennaiyin FC currently sit in seventh position in the table with six points from their first six games, having won two and lost four. Their recent 3-0 defeat at home to FC Goa raised concerns, prompting Coyle to express his thoughts in the pre-match press conference.
“There is so much hard work going on behind the scenes that has not been evident in some of our games,” Owen Coyle stated in the pre-match press conference.
The team had a challenging start to the season, facing consecutive losses in their first three games and scoring only once while conceding eight times. However, they showed signs of improvement with consecutive wins against Hyderabad FC and Punjab FC, scoring six times and conceding just once. Unfortunately, their momentum was halted by a 3-0 loss to FC Goa.
Coyle believes that despite the setbacks, there has been positive progress since the initial struggles, and he is confident that their efforts will yield positive results in the future.
“There has been remarkable progress since the first three games. We know what we are doing and the small steps that we are taking, and in time we are going to have a very good side for sure,” Coyle said.
“We know we can compete and get better. Our aim this season was always to make the playoffs.”
Looking ahead to their match against East Bengal FC, who currently sit in 10th position with four points from their first five games, Coyle acknowledged the challenge they pose. Despite East Bengal's poor results, Coyle noted that their performances have been positive, making it a difficult game.
“It will be a very difficult game against a very good East Bengal FC side. I think they have been a little bit unfortunate in some of the games because they have played very well,” Coyle said.
Coyle has faced East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat before in his managerial career and holds him in high regard. He anticipates a challenging match, recognizing Cuadrat's dedication and hard work.
“Carles is someone I hold in such high regard. He is a very good man. I know how hard he works, so I know it will be a difficult game,” Coyle said.
Reflecting on the international break, Coyle emphasized its importance for the team's mood and preparation. The break allowed them to focus on various aspects, and the team is looking forward to the upcoming game.
“It was important on the run-up to Diwali that everybody could spend time with their families,” Coyle said.
“We've come back and worked really hard in preparation for the game. The last couple of weeks allowed us to work on different things, so we are looking forward to the game.”
Regarding injuries, Coyle mentioned that Ninthoiganba Meeti has returned to training, but Akash Sangwan will not be available for the game.
I am just happy to have the opportunity to play: Jordan Murray
Australian forward Jordan Murray, who joined Coyle in the pre-match press conference, has played four matches this season and contributed with one assist. Despite facing an injury setback earlier in the season, Murray expressed his determination to make an impact whenever given the chance.
“My job was to make an impact, and when the opportunity arises, I needed to pick up that opportunity. It was about putting my head down and working as hard as and working for the team,” Murray said in the pre-match press conference.
“No matter where I am, bench, stands, or in the starting 11, according to the coach, everyone has a role to play, so I am just happy to have the opportunity to play football.”