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The result wasn't important for us tonight, says Chennaiyin FC head coach Owen Coyle

Published at :April 15, 2024 at 12:31 AM
Modified at :April 15, 2024 at 12:31 AM
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(Courtesy : ISL media)


Owen Coyle’s men were outplayed by the Gaurs who were in desperate need of three points.

Chennaiyin FC succumbed to a 4-1 defeat in their last league stage fixture of the 2023-24 Indian Super League season. Owen Coyle’s men have already secured their place in the ongoing season’s playoffs which made this fixture at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Goa inconsequential.

The Marina Machans’ tactician rested a few key players for the clash against the Gaurs keeping the playoff knockout fixture in mind. He talked extensively about changes, and making individual mistakes and wished the Gaurs the best in their quest to finish in the top two positions during the post-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the conversation.

Analysis of the game

Owen Coyle indicated that he rested a lot of players, and made changes as the result was not important for the club. He said, “The result wasn’t important for us tonight. We worked so hard and you’ve seen that I made nine changes. That’s not the team that’s going to take the field in the playoffs by any means. But we were excellent in the first 30 minutes. Certainly should have been a minimum of two in front. Some great play, and that’s where the lads came in and then obviously, FC Goa are a very good side when they pass the ball.

“But when you give them time, which we did, we’ve lost a goal from a throw-in that was so easily avoidable. We allowed Carlos to stand in the box unmarked, which you can’t do at this level. These boys will punish you if you give them time. We just had to make sure we conserved our energy where we could because we were down to 10 men. That’s how we played in the second half. We lost the second half 1-0 with 10 men but the boys worked hard. Jordan Murray took a couple of good chances as well. I’m not sure Samik had too many saves in the game. I can’t recall having Samik having many saves.

“Anyway, we know they’re a good side. We know they pass and they move. If I have to come back here, great because what I’ve seen tonight, fills me with confidence, knowing when I’ve got my best team in the field. So, you know, good luck to Goa. I mean, they’ve still got a chance of finishing second. If we come back here, we’ll be ready for it. And trust me, we’ll be looking forward to it.

Selection headaches

Owen Coyle explained how the players coming on from the bench have been doing well and that he can compete with any team with his best lineup on the field.

“In terms of selection headache, I think the boys needed some minutes because what we’ve been doing well of late, and this was the difference from, the first semi-half of the season, when boys were coming into the game, they weren’t up to the same speed as the boys that had already been in the game. But as of late, we’ve been doing better than that. I have in my mind the team I know that can go and cause problems with any team in this league. When we’re at our best, when I’ve got my best 11 on the field, I can stand toe-to-toe with anybody. And that’s what I’ll look to do,” Owen Coyle concluded.

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