With few improvements, India will have a top striker in Ishan Pandita: Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle

Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle heaped praise on his team as they secured a last-gasp win over NorthEast United FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) on Thursday.

Ishan Pandita scored in stoppage time, minutes after Deshorn Brown had equalised for the Highlanders to claim all three points for Jamshedpur FC that sent them joint top in the standings.

Coyle believed his team were finally rewarded for the good performances that they had been putting in in the last few matches.

The Scottish manager addressed the media after the match.

Here are the excerpts from his post-match press conference:

You ended a three-match winless run. How happy are you with the performance?

I'm delighted with the performance but also delighted to get the three points because you mentioned the two draws we had, then we lost to Chennaiyin FC and truth be told, we should have won all three games with some big, big chances.

And then certainly the other night, Chennaiyin FC got the points, but on that performance we should have had something from the game if not the win, but we had to pick ourselves up, show a reaction as we did when we lost the game against Mumbai. And we did that.

We made it difficult for ourselves by conceding the late goal. But the character of our team is that they pick themselves up, they go forward again and young Pandita who's been knocking at the door last few games, he had a wonderful chance against Kerala Blasters FC, a wonderful chance against Chennaiyin FC and then he pops up with a winner, so I'm delighted for Ishan.

He's such a lovely kid. He is still there. I said to him don't ever worry when you're missing chances because you're still getting chances. The time to worry as a striker is when you're not getting chances. But tonight Ishan scored, Jordan scored. We could have scored six or seven tonight.

So the performance from being a goal down which was for me was clearly offside, but we picked ourselves up with numerous chances in the first half and nobody could argue that Jamshedpur FC were worth three points tonight.

Did the early goal surprise you? Do you think the team wasn't too worried after conceding?

Nobody ever wants to concede an early goal. I wasn't worried because we were playing (well), we were dominating the game, accepting that NorthEast United FC are a dangerous team on the counter-attack. Deshorn Brown is a wonderful player, Suhair is a very good player, Coureur, Imran are very good players. So they are dangerous on the counter-attack.

But I've got to say that for me, the goal looked a metre offside, clearly offside, but our boys picked ourselves up, didn't let it affect them, controlled the game, scored that deserved equaliser but with some great chances before that, So I knew it was coming.

Of course, you don't want to be a goal down, but we believed in the process of what we're doing. And it was so evident today. We played three days ago while NorthEast hadn't played one for over 10 days but you thought we were the team with the 10 days rest. The energy they brought, the desire they brought, young Boris SIngh, Ishan, Rutvik coming in. These boys that couldn't get a game we worked with them, made them better and you can see the quality and all these kids have now.

Do you think Jordan Murray's performance tonight that included a goal and an assist showed why you backed him?

Jordan Murray didn't have to prove that. He is a wonderful player, he was probably our best player in pre-season. He picked up an injury that took a little bit of time but Murray, the other night against Chennaiyin FC was outstanding as well.

Of course, maybe he missed one or two chances but that's the nature of football particularly as a striker you know, you have to be there to miss chances. And then when you're there, you score chances you want to score every one. Murray was outstanding tonight, and if he hadn't scored the goal if he hadn't had an assist, I'd be saying the same thing because of what he brings to our team and the work rate and all the quality that he brings.

Of course, when you score when you assist, then it takes you again to even higher level but I've been delighted with Jordan Murray and he'll be better now moving into the second half of the season. No doubts about it.

Ishan Pandita did the trick as a super-sub once again. Your thoughts on it?

Yeah, I love the kid and that's why I brought him and of course he knows we've got good strikers but he's had plenty minutes and he'll know himself he is such a such a great kid, he has such a hunger for scoring goals that he's been angry with himself because of the couple of chances he's missed. But I said to him, just stay with it, the chances will come, your goals will come and it's great.

I mean, particularly how late the goal was and having lost a goal to bounce back again in injury time. And that's what he does. He's a natural goalscorer. I'm still looking to improve his all-round game. If I do that, then I tell you, India is going to have a very good centre-forward for the national team.

First start for Mobhashir Rahman after his injury. How pleased are you?

I was delighted with Mobashir and what he brought to the game as I was with Jitender. You know Mobashir and Jitender are local kids. They are the two of them who have come through. We totally believe them. They know the trust I have in them and the performance of both Mobashir and Jitender was outstanding. NorthEast United FC are a tough side. They have got some very good players but the two kids were terrific in the middle of the park tonight.

TP Rehenesh missed out on this game. Any reason why?

He was injured. He turned his ankle the day after we played Chennaiyin FC. We're doing slight exercises with his ankle. I'm hoping that in another 3-4 days, he should be okay. But obviously Pawan commended it very well. Young Vishal was on the bench, but hopefully for the SC East Bengal game. Rehenesh might be available. Fingers crossed.

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