Owen Coyle – We can go toe-to-toe with anybody and we are looking to do that

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Jamshedpur FC have been one of the more consistent sides in the ISL so far in the 2021-22 season. The Red Miners sit 4th in the league standings and are in prime position to make it through to the knockout phases. The Men of Steel have 25 points (7 wins and 4 draws) to their tally in 14 matches. However, in the reverse fixture, Mumbai City FC had the better of Jamshedpur, beating them 4-2. Jamshedpur FC had a 3-0 win against Kerala Blasters FC in their last game. Greg Stewart scored from the penalty spot while Daniel Chima scored another brace to register another important victory.

Their opponents are the defending champions Mumbai City FC, who are level on points with them having played a game less than them. The Islanders went through a brief rough patch mid-season but recorded two back-to-back wins in their last two matches and also unbeaten in their last four games. Mumbai City FC are 5th in the points table with 25 points (7 wins and 4 draws) in 15 matches. They won 4-1 against Odisha FC in their last match. A brace each from Bipin Singh and Igor Angulo bagged the three points for them.

Ahead of Jamshedpur FC’s clash against Mumbai City FC on Thursday at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, head coach Owen Coyle and midfielder Ritwik Das addressed the media during the pre-match press conference.

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Below are the excerpts of coach Owen Coyle from the press conference.

Coyle shared his thoughts on the win against Kerala Blasters.

“Yes, it was always going to be a very tough game for us as Kerala Blasters are a wonderful side with an outstanding coach whom I have had a lot of time with. So, we knew from the first whistle to the last, we’d have to be focused and concentrated which we were. We ended up being the winners. Now that the game is behind us, what we have to do is make sure we get ready for an equally tough game against Mumbai City FC who have come through a difficult period, they had shown wonderful qualities to do that.

“They have a young coach, Des Buckingham, who is set for a wonderful career and has so much time ahead of him and they’ve got wonderful players. So, it’s going to be a very tough game but it’s one that we’re looking forward to. We know that if we’re at our very best we can win games against tough teams and top teams and that’s what we look to do it’s getting to the business end of the season every direct rival is playing each other. It’s all to play for and we have to make sure we’re at our very best.”

Coyle spoke about how having 10 different goal scorers in his ranks has positively affected the team’s performance this season

“I think it’s important that you have goals from different areas of the team and you’re not one dimensional. It is nice when we have different players from various positions who can score for the team. we have that in young Boris, Len Doungel, Komal Thatal scoring for the club, although we’re missing Komal and even Farukh Choudhary for the entire season so we’ve missed some big players for us but the group is continuing whether it’s an injury or suspension. Ritwik is yet to score and it is time for him to step up to score. We have wonderful talent and abilities and we give players opportunities that are important moving forward.”

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Owen spoke about the effect Chima has had on his strike partners post his move to Jamshedpur

“I think that’s a very important point. Daniel Chima has done wonderfully since he has come in and Greg Stewart’s been outstanding all season. Both of them will have Jordan Murray as well with them when he will be fit and available along with Ishan Pandita. But all these boys will tell you you know they’re only as good as their teammates who have helped them, supplied them with passes.

“If you look at Chima’s last two goals, young Boris puts a great ball from the flank against Bengaluru FC and even against Kerala Blasters FC with a great ball to him along with a good pullback for Chima. Even Greg came in with some exciting chances when he had the ball with him but again he’s only as good as their teammates. The important thing is that we think we have talented individual players but our strength is as a group everybody together and that’s what we like to do. We have to be at our very best that’s for sure against a very good Mumbai City FC team.”

Coyle opened up about his selection problems given the plethora of talent at his disposal.

“Line-up selection is already a headache with Ishan Pandita in the same position as Chima. And then Jordan is a starter who has shown that he’s an outstanding player. So that gives real competition between Chima, Jordan, and Pandita who has been wonderful and I’ve got to say as well in terms of how he is within the group, he is just an outstanding young man.”

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Owen Coyle was all praise on the mentality of the Islanders when asked about the change of fortune in the Mumbai camp after a rough patch in mid-season.

“It tells us that from the mentality point of view they have a very strong mentality but I know that because within the leadership they have good people in their staff and people are very knowledgeable and know. Even in their difficult period, they were still picking up draws here and there. Even in the narrow games, they lost they could easily have won.

“So as I said the margins were very fine so Mumbai City wasn’t doing a lot wrong but obviously, whatever it was they’ve corrected it and they’re looking very strong now or obviously as we do. The main goal in the game will be to make sure that we’re at our best and be very respectful of the quality they have which we have to be ready for. With Igor Angulo, Cassio, Jahouh, and some wonderful young Indian players including Chhangte and Bipin Singh. They know Jamshedpur FC can go toe-to-toe with anybody.

Coyle spoke on the regrets of the 3 losses which could have gone in Jamshedpur’s favor.

“Obviously, there is no delight in losing games. Particularly, the last game against Mumbai City FC in which we had a terrible start with a 3 to nothing on the scoreboard within an early period of time. There were clinical finishes from Mumbai City FC but some goals were self-inflicted. I think that’s a part of the reason; we lose games when we make individual mistakes as we did against Bengaluru FC, who had no shot on target in the game against us.

“But if you make bad mistakes, then you’ll be punished and we have to make sure we are focused, concentrated and do not make any mistakes and on the other end, we have to make sure we are clinical with the opportunities we create as we always create chances and have lots of attempts at goal. We have to make sure we do the same against a well-oiled Mumbai City side.”

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Here are the excerpts of midfielder Ritwik Das.

Ritwik spoke about how game-time helps a player’s confidence.

“I think it’s very important for a player to manage game time. I have managed to contribute that way and thankfully I have also started playing a couple of matches and it has helped me boost my confidence and helped me grow as a player.”

Das spoke about the mentality that he takes with him into the match.

“When I get the ball or when I get 1v1, I try to give my best because I know I have good players playing by my side, plus I try to get us near the penalty box as much as possible and score the goal as well.”

Ritwik shared his thoughts of defeating Kerala Blasters, which was a crucial feat for the club.

“Since both teams are trying to fight to stay on top, it was very important for us to grab those three points. Kerala Blasters is an extremely good side so yes, winning those three points was important for us.”

Das shared his thoughts on facing Mumbai City FC in the next match.

“Mumbai City is a very good side. They are the defending champions who are also fighting for the top 4 spots so we will play the way we always do and will do everything in our power to win the three points.”

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