Owen shares his thoughts on the team’s performance so far, and he spoke about their plans ahead.
“We will keep looking to improve as every game in this league is a tough one, and we aimed to collect those three points in place of those 1-2 draws we have had when we felt we should have won. If you look at the two games that we have lost, you will find the opponents were very good teams. What’s important now is that the first half of the season is finished, and we can’t let that affect us. We have to make sure we accumulate more points as we did in the first half of the season. If we do that, then, of course, it’s not rocket science to figure out that we will get into the top-four, which is where we want to be, and those playoff spots with a chance to win that coveted play-off shield.”
Refereeing has been an issue almost every club this season has had to suffer with. Owen shares his verdict on some of the incorrect decisions given by the officials in the previous fixtures.
“I can’t do anything if the goals are offside, as those are decisions given by the officials, and that’s what they are there for. I’m a big advocate of VAR, and I know it has its problems, but ultimately you will get the big decisions right, and these goals will change the result of the games. In terms of the goals that we conceded, of course, we look back and feel we could have done better in some instances of the game, but as a collective, because I have said before that it is never about individual performance; it’s about the whole team. Our first line of defence is the forwards, and through our first line of attack to the goalkeeper because whatever we do, we do together.
“So I think there are some learning points, and we are going to take them under consideration, but equally, the things that worked out well are something that we will continue to improve on that as well. So I think there are a lot of takeaways from the first half of the season. Now we’ve got to make sure that we take the positives and positively use them moving forward to make us stronger.”
Owen Coyle updates about the injury concerns of Komal Thatal, TP Rahenesh and other players in the squad. Here is what he had to say,
“Well, Komal Thatal’s injury is taking a bit longer to recover. He was back on the training pitch today but not with the rest of the group. He has started training alone, and we are hoping that within the next couple of weeks, Komal will be back and available to play because he has been a wonderful addition to the squad with Jitendra, Mobashir, Boris, Ritwik and others who are young and learning from there players like Len who has been in the league for some time and has done very well year after year and he is a terrific lad. So when you have young ones support someone of Len’s quality, it’s great. Komal has excelled this season and he will keep on improving, like the other lads. We are excited to get him back and play him on the squad. But again, it will take him around a couple of weeks to be back, and it will be an important time of the season when he will return.
“Obviously, TP Rehenesh is injured as well. He missed the last game but has come back on the training pitch. He has not joined with the rest of the squad as usual, but we will give him all the time he needs to recover to his best. Pawan Kumar is doing well in his place, and we also have Vishal in case we need him. So there are 1-2 more niggles in the squad, but that being said, we will pick the best team that will be available and try to win a very tough game.”
Owen Coyle spoke about opponents SC East Bengal and praised them ahead of the game.
“I am very impressed with the SC East Bengal side lately and how they went about it. All the credit goes to Renedy Singh, who has come in as a coach and showed the traits of becoming an outstanding coach moving forward. It’s great to see young Indian coaches make their mark. We have to make sure that we are at our very best to win a tough game, and if we are capable of winning it because when we are at our very best, then we can win games in this league. The SC East Bengal team have been working their socks off, which has been evident in their last few games.”
Captain and defender Peter Hartley is all set to make his 450th career appearance tomorrow against SC East Bengal. Owen Coyle congratulated him and wished him luck to complete more such milestones in the coming days.
“I have been very impressed with Peter Hartley’s performance, his abilities and leadership qualities. He is a proper leader and puts his head on the line. He’s brave, commanding, inspiring and has a real desire and fire, and that’s what I love about him the most. It is also the reason why I brought him to Jamshedpur FC, having seen him play against my former teams in the past. He has been an excellent player for this club, and tomorrow it will be his 450th career game; and I hope there’s many more appearance ahead of him because he looks after himself and keeps himself in great shape with a full desire to play as long as he can. So I am happy for him, but we know there are many more games to come for him in the future as well.”
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