Thursday, May 26Sports News Portal

Football

We are the best team in the country: Jamshedpur FC’s Owen Coyle

Jamshedpur FC won their first Hero Indian Super League (ISL) Winner’s Shield after a gritty 1-0 win over ATK Mohun Bagan at the PJN Stadium, Goa on Monday.

Head Coach Owen Coyle spoke highly of his counterpart Juan Ferrando’s team and their season but also revealed that it is important to focus on the semi-finals after this game.

A goal by Ritwik Das separated both the teams that won the trophy for the Men of Steel. This result means that the Men of Steel will face Kerala Blasters FC over two legs in the semi-finals.

Owen Coyle addressed the media after the game in the post-match press conference.

Here are some excerpts from his press conference:

What is the feeling right now?

Yeah, absolutely delighted for everyone in the club, our supporters, our owners. Everybody cares so much about Jamshedpur, obviously, as a head coach, coaches & players come and go but it’s important that when you’re at a club that you give everything you can for them, which I’ve done. I’ve also loved the two years working with everybody here. And it’s great to get the prize at the end because we deserved it after the work we have done. Well, actually we had to win 10 of our last 11 games. And we’ve actually been doing well up to that point. We had got 10 points from nine games and I thought, yeah, we can finish in the top four. And then obviously, we changed things up in January, brought Daniel and freshen things up and got them all together. I think that we have the best defensive record. So, at both ends, we have shown to be the top team, and we’ve been the best team in the country. 43 points is another record as well. It’s incredible. So, all credit to the players, they worked their socks off, particularly the Indian players when I see the improvement. And then, of course, it gives you a source of satisfaction. I’m delighted for everyone, very pleased, and very tired.

ATK Mohun Bagan players stayed on the pitch after the game. Your thoughts on it?

I have nothing but praise for ATK Mohun Bagan. The form is temporary in football, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I’ve been on both sides myself. But the one thing that is very evident was tonight, the genuine class. And that’s led by coach Juan Ferrando. He’s an outstanding coach, he’s going to go on in future success. We knew this was going to be a challenging game. And it was, every moment they challenged us in different ways. And I’ve got wonderful players. But that was a genuine touch of class when they remained at the end. They even stayed longer than probably anybody else would have and a big thank you to them. They’re going to be a big, big danger for anybody in the playoffs now. Because that’s a top team. They’ve been on a good run, and they’ll pick themselves up and go again.

You have two matches against Kerala Blasters FC. How do you see them going?

Yeah, I mean very tough games against a wonderful side and an outstanding coach. I have so much fun on a personal level with Ivan, we’ve got on really well. We’ve played each other twice. And in the pre-season, we’ve spent a lot of time chatting, and then during the season, the same thing. So, he is a wonderful mind, we know that they are a very, very good team with some terrific players and some great young Indian talent as well. So that’s good to see. There’s a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we’ll enjoy tonight. And then tomorrow morning, we’ll get up fresh, and we’ll get ready.

What do you think is the next move?

Well, I said, enjoy tonight, then obviously it’s about recovery tomorrow. We’ve had to play three games in six days, the boys are on their feet but we know how to get them back on and get them ready for big games. There’s not a lot between the teams in the semi-finals. You know, on any given day, I would suggest that anybody can win. They really can. But what we’ve shown over 20 league games is that we’re the best team in the country. 20 games don’t lie and show the best teams and that’s been over that period. When you come into a top competition, the playoffs are then of course those games are fraught with danger. So, we have to make sure we’re ready for it.

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