We were the better team on the night: Owen Coyle lauds Jamshedpur FC’s spirited display

Jamshedpur FC walked away with all three points against FC Goa in match eight of Hero ISL 2021-22, as Owen Coyle’s men put three past their opponents on the night. Although the deadlock hadn’t been broken as the teams headed into half-time, Nerijus Valskis opened the scoring in the 51st minute with a composed finish.

The Lithuanian added a second in the 61st minute, with a dainty header that beat an onrushing Dheeraj Singh. Jordan Murray was brought on in the 80th minute, and the Aussie had an instant impact, scoring from his first touch to make it 3-0 for the Men of Steel.

Airam Cabrera deposited the ball in the back of the net in the 86th minute to pull one back for the Gaurs, but it was too little too late, as the scoreline read 3-1 in favour of Jamshedpur FC at the end of the game. Hyderabad FC on December 2 is the next assignment for the Men of Steel as they look to maintain pole position on the Hero ISL table.

Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle revealed his views on the game in the official post-match press conference.

Here are a few excerpts from the press conference:

Komal Thatal was impressive on the left wing, will we see more of him in the coming games?

Absolutely, young Komal Thatal, young Boris Singh, Boris came on should’ve had a goal, but great save from Dheeraj, another young talented Indian goalkeeper. So yeah, we are delighted with Komal, we are delighted with Boris and that’s why I brought them to the club, we like them, they’re young, they’re exciting, and they will get better, and at Jamshedpur, we like giving young players the opportunities and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

You now have a problem of plenty, Valskis finding his scoring boots again, Jordan scoring with his first touch, and Stewart was absolutely stunning

The head coaches this year have a real dilemma, selecting four from six. I’m very fortunate there are six players. I’m delighted with every one of them, it was a tough decision to make not to start Eli Sabia, he is one of the best centre-backs in the league, and he’s got a fantastic partnership with Peter Hartley. There’s more to come from Greg Stewart, mark my words, he will continue to get better. Jordan Murray is still not at 100% yet, so Jordan can only give us 15-20 minutes, but when he’s fully fit, then it’ll be challenge for the head coach, but it’s a good problem to have because you want that problem when they’re playing well you don’t want that when they are all out of sorts, and they’re not playing well, and you can take any of them, that’s a real problem.

You mentioned FC Goa are a very good team. Did you expect that kind of performance from them tonight, considering they were very strong from last season, retained the coach and gotten a few additional players as well?

No, I was expecting that game. I mean, they actually weren’t that bad in the game. I mean the thing with FC Goa, when you play against them, from my experience, you have to work so hard against the ball, because Bedia and Noguera and Ortiz, they move, they pass they move, the young wingers are good coming off the side. So we had to make sure we were focused, disciplined, and in good shape against the ball. But knowing when we found the opening, which we were capable of doing tonight because we play at high intensity, that we had to go with real speed, real speed of thought, and be positive with it. And that's what we did tonight and it came really well together.

After last season’s performances against FC Goa, is it revenge well taken today?

No, no, it's not revenge. I mean, Jamshedpur FC haven’t beaten FC Goa in the last eight games, way before my time. But of course last year, we know we scored a great goal from Alex Lima, that would have been a match-winner on any other day. But anyway, that was last season, we can't affect that. And that's why I said prior to the game, the previous eight games had no bearing on tonight. What was going to see tonight was the two teams, and who was the best team on the night and tonight it was Jamshedpur FC, there’s no doubt about that.

Greg Stewart and Nerijus Valskis combined really well. How happy are you with that combination?

Yeah, I'm delighted that's something that’s not just happened in thin air, we've worked on that training, that movement, that play between the two of them. They like playing each other, they are very comfortable, they are clever footballers. And you’ve seen that, they step off and they lay off. So just a fantastic football goal.

Big weight off the shoulder for Valskis’ as well. This was his first goal since he scored against Kerala in January. Your take on that?

Yeah, I mean, I think I always said that Valskis, when he’s at his best, he is one of the top strikers in the league, along with the likes of Roy Krishna, they are in that bracket and when he’s at his best, he’s like that, as is young Jordan Murray, who is going to get better and better and that's the kind of problems you want. Well, what we needed to do in fairness for Valskis was to just get him a little bit of quality support. We didn't really have anyone, obviously, Alex played as a central midfielder, we didn't have a number 10 and Greg Stewart plays in there and he's clever and you can see the link up with Valskis as you know, so I've always been keen on looking for that player.

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