August 2, 2021

‘The boys wore their heart on their sleeves’ – Owen Coyle hails Jamshedpur’s fighting spirit against Chennaiyin

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The Jamshedpur boss wants his team to win their last three matches and keep the play-offs race exciting…

Jamshedpur kept their playoff hopes alive with a narrow win over Chennaiyin in a crucial Indian Super League (ISL) tie on Wednesday.

After a defeat against East Bengal in their last game, it was a must-win tie for the Men of Steel to remain in the hunt for a knock-out spot and they managed to get three points, thanks to an Enes Sipovic own-goal in the 90th minute.

Owen Coyle was all praise for his players and hailed their fighting spirit which guided them to the three points despite missing star striker Nerijus Valskis due to a niggle.

“I don’t think we played badly in the last game. I thought we improved in the second half but the goal changed the game. What we had to do today is win the game and we played good football against a very good team. A team I know very well, how dangerous they are.

“We had chances before the goal and I think we fully deserve the three points. The spirit the boys showed, we were beset by injuries before and after the game. (Nerijus) Valskis missed the game with a small niggle and then Diniliana, Stephen Eze and Alex Lima go off. The boys really wore the heart on their sleeves tonight and it was brilliant the way we represented the club tonight.”

The Jamshedpur coach opined that with the three points against Chennaiyin, they have managed to keep the race for the playoffs interesting. 

“All we have done is given ourselves a chance. Three teams are ahead of us at the moment and all of them have a game in hand. There are still enough points to play. What we have to do is keep ourselves in the fight. Keep it interesting because it is for someone else to give away. We have to keep trying, keep trying to win and keep it interesting and if someone else drops down then we have to capitalise and the only way to do that is to give performances like tonight.

“There are tough games coming up, ATK Mohun Bagan. Mumbai City and Bengaluru. In the first half of the season, we beat ATK Mohun Bagan, we drew against Mumbai with 10 men and beat Bengaluru. It is going to be challenging but we are ready for the battles,” said Coyle.

Coyle believes that if the team can replicate their performance from the first half of the season, they can win their last three games.

“Every game in the ISL is an opportunity for three points. We have shown our form against ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City in the first half of the season and we dropped points against lower-ranked teams. Anybody in this league can win games. What we have to do is take one game at a time. Win the game tonight and then head to the next one and that is what we will do.

“ATK Mohun Bagan are a great team, (they have a) wonderful coach but they also know that Jamshedpur are (a team to be wary of) because we beat them in the first half. We have to go to that level again, that is how you beat them, by performing well. But we are sure we can do that and if we do that it will be really interesting at the top of the table,” opined the Jamshedpur manager.