latter’s home at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium here on Friday in the Hero Indian Super
League. While Hyderabad are at the bottom of the table, CFC are just a spot above them.
The visitors, headed by Owen Coyle, will be looking for all three points in order to pull clear
of their opponents and keep their play-off hopes alive.
Joined by Anirudh Thapa at the pre-match press conference, Owen Coyle began by sharing
his thoughts on Hyderabad’s season so far. “I think this is a very important game for both
teams. Hyderabad have been very unlucky in a lot of games, I think they have played some
very good football, been in some good positions to win matches. They too had one or two
decisions go against them, so we certainly know that they are a far better team that the lead
Owen Coyle is no stranger to HFC Head Coach Phil Brown, with both having played together
at Bolton Wanderers. “They have a terrific coach that I know very well. Phil was a teammate
of mine when we played at Bolton together. That being said, the friendship will be put aside
for the duration of the match because we have the same aspirations like anybody else in the
Coyle was adamant that a top four spot is still up for grabs, and his team is more than
capable of occupying that spot if they put in a good winning run, starting with the game
against Hyderabad. And for that to happen, the defensive frailties need to be worked upon
in quick time. “What we have to do better is make sure from the defensive point of view
that we don’t give up easy goals like we have done. The challenge for us is to find continuity
and consistency that allows you to pick up points. We are one game behind and at the
moment sit with seven points behind fourth spot and with the game in hand, we have to get
into that run of form and win games. Not draws because those three points are important.”
Anirudh Thapa has become a regular in midfield alongside Germanpreet Singh under Coyle,
and he too reiterated his focus on the task ahead, instead of taking any undue pressure.
“We don’t have any pressure. We have been playing good football and I think we will put up
a great show tomorrow. Obviously Hyderabad are a very good team and will give us a good
fight. But I feel if we keep on performing well every match, with a game left in hand, we will
be able to reach our goal of the play-offs,” Thapa said.