The Scottish tactician shared his thoughts on the game, especially on the “wrong handball decision.”
The Owen Coyle-led Jamshedpur FC could only manage another draw in the Indian Super League, as the Men of Steel came from behind against Hyderabad FC to earn a point from a 1-1 stalemate. It was a cagey first half with both teams struggling to find the decisive passes in the final third. However, the second half was spiced up with a lot of controversies involving match officials.
Aridane Santana and Stephan Eze scored for their respective teams in a smash and grab encounter. However, the result did not please the head coach as his team have now conceded three goals in the last couple of fixtures and are winless in the league.
“Better defending, it’s simple. We cannot allow them to take shots at our goal. I think Pawan(Kumar) tried to push it towards the side but he pushed it straight to Aridane(Santana), who punished us. So that’s simple, we need to defend better and make sure we are more solid against the ball. But what we have shown is that we can score goals. So if we can rectify that then we will always be a threat to get goals,” Coyle quipped about the areas that need improvement at the post-match press conference.
The Scotsman was impressed with some of the Indian players who came on as substitutes and had an impact on the game. “It is the third game in eight days and there are a lot of niggles and Isaac(Vanmalsawma) did fine as did Aniket(Jadhav).”
“The boys have done really well when they have come on. But when you get a start, you have to do that from the first minute not just when you come on in a game. So that’s good that substitutes are coming in and showing performances. Aniket was really positive and quick and Isaac also did well, showed quality on the ball.”
During a second-half freekick for the Men of Steel, the ball crept inside Laxmikant Kattimani’s net, ricocheting off Santana. But the linesman wrongly judged it as handball.
Speaking about the situation and with a clear goal disallowed, Owen Coyle added, “I think I need to be careful while I say it because I don’t want to get into any trouble. Anyone who knows football and has seen that the referee gave the goal, the linesman simply invented a handball. There was no handball there. So my question is -how can he make something like that up? I don’t even feel hard done by, I feel we were robbed. That’s what has happened there. Whatever he has seen, I don’t know how he has seen that but its totally wrong.”
Analysing the game, the Scotsman praised Hyderbad FC’s young Indian players but felt that his team were not really in it in the first half. He said, “Hyderabad have some very good players, some of the young Indian players are doing very well this season and they deserve an honest credit. But their pace did not catch us off. There was nothing in the first half, we never played well and they were a little bit better but not really any goalscoring chances.”
“In the second half, we had a better intensity and should have taken the lead. Then the goal we conceded, we could have done better with it. But that being said, there was only one team trying to get back in the game and win the game.”
Lastly, the Scotsman revealed that he gave a piece of his mind to his players after an underwhelming first-half performance to charge them up. It worked as they eventually came out with a lot more intensity in the second half. “First half, we weren’t good enough and at halftime I let them know that. Because we wanted to make sure that we show that spirit, desire and intensity that we are known for.”
“We did it in the second half and we looked so much better. I feel we could have won that game, we could be easily sitting with six or seven points in the league. But there are areas to improve and equally a lot of positive things, the spirit, heart and another great goal. So now we have to continue and pick up those valuable three points instead of drawing games,” Owen Coyle concluded.