"Pleased with our approach but need to understand game management" – Owen Coyle after frustrating JFC draw

Jamshedpur, December 9, 2019: Chennaiyin FC Head Coach Owen Coyle addressed the media following his side’s 1-1 draw against Jamshedpur FC in a bittersweet mood at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Monday. In his first game on the touchline for Chennaiyin, he almost delivered a win but for JFC’s late equalizer. Nerijus Valskis had given CFC a first-half lead with a well-taken goal.

The nature of the Jamdhedpur goal was highly contentious, taking a deflection off Farukh Choudhary’s left hand from Isaac’s shot. Reflecting on that and the game as a whole, Coyle said, “The disappointment is that the full points have been taken away from us, as it was a clear handball (from Farukh). So cruelly late in the game, it was so clear; everybody saw that, you see the player’s reaction because they have all witnessed a very clear handball.”

The referees do a difficult job, I get that but between them I’m surprised they couldn’t see it but I could, clearly from the technical area. That being said, what we did tonight, we put a lot into the game and I don’t want that to be lost in the fact of a controversial goal. I’m pleased with the manner in which we approached the game and how we took the game to Jamshedpur. If we perform like that on a consistent basis, I’m sure that will lead to more wins than draws.”

Having joined the squad just a couple of days prior, Coyle inspired his side into putting in an impressive performance on the road, thus arresting a slump of seven successive away ISL losses which had seen them score only once.

“The top four is still achievable and to do that we have to make sure that when we get into positions like we got today we could have averted more pressure on our goal. We need to understand game management, how to win, and that takes a certain understanding of football intelligence.”

“I do have a group that is willing to listen and willing to learn and if we do that then we have a chance of fighting to get to those (playoff) places.”

Despite missing a host of chances, Coyle was full of praise for the likes of Lallianzuala Chhangte and the rest of his Indian contingent. “The foreign players get a lot of attention in the ISL but there were some terrific performances from my Indian players tonight. When you come to a new country, it is very important that you try and help the talent the club has because if they do well domestically then that also helps the national team. So I am really pleased overall with the commitment and the quality that I see in all the domestic players too.”

“He (Chhangte) is going to be a wonderful player. Maybe I can help him with some composure and to pick the final pass, but he had some good chances to score and showed some wonderful ability. Germanpreet (Singh) also came on in the second half and was effective.”

Next up for Chennaiyin is another challenging away game at NorthEast United on Thursday. Coyle has had a positive impact with minimum time on the the training pitch, and is hopeful of his side going from strength to strength with time.

“I want my team to play with high intensity like we did in the second half. I think the more we work together, the longer we will be able to give those pieces of quality and that would result in winning games,” he said before signing off.