The Scotsman spoke following his team’s goalless draw with Kerala Blasters.
Jamshedpur FC’s winless run in the Indian Super League January continues, as they shared the spoils in an entertaining goalless draw against Kerala Blasters. It was a game filled with chances for both the teams, but none of them managed to get the ball into the back of the net. Jamshedpur boss Owen Coyle poke to the media following the match.
Lucky draw for Jamshedpur FC?
Kerala Blasters were denied by the woodwork multiple times, as they came really close to scoring and sealing the points in the second half. Therefore, when questioned whether it was a lucky point for the Men of Steel, Coyle said, “No. I think Kerala had some chances, but I think we were the first team to get a chance in the first half. When we talk about chances, shots from 25 yards are not chances. So, I think a draw was a fair result.
“I think in the first 30 minutes we were in total control of the game. We were very comfortable and then 15 minutes prior to half-time, they did very well. They gave us 1-2 problems and also had a couple of opportunities that struck the woodwork.
“In our respect, we needed to be tighter. We were a bit slack. I thought the second half was pretty even. Both teams had opportunities, not clear goalscoring opportunities, but half-chances,” he shared his reflections from the game at the post-match press conference.
Narender Gahlot’s performance
Jamshedpur FC played without their skipper at the heart of the defence, as Peter Hartley was suspended for this fixture. While the experienced Englishman’s absence was felt dearly, youngster Narender Gahlot gave a good account of himself.
“I think Narender did fine, but obviously with Peter Hartley we get a lot of vocals, he is an organizer, a leader. However, the youngster did well coming in. It was good to see a young Indian centre-back playing the way he did against two wonderful players in Jordan Murray and Gary Hooper. So, he will definitely benefit from that,” the Scotsman added.
Combination of Nicholas Fitzgerald, Seiminlen Doungel & Farukh Choudhury
The Men of Steel had players like Nicholas Fitzgerald, Seiminlen Doungel and Farukh Choudhury in behind Nerijus Valskis and looking at the lineup, a lot of people thought that there will be goals. However, Coyle feels it is still early days for the two signings while Fitzgerald is only settling in after his long-term injury.
He said, “It was Nick Fitzgerald’s first start, Farukh and Len played their second game after two days, having not played much at their previous clubs. So, they were obviously going to get tired as the game went on. But, the courage and the spirit that the lads showed to keep going forward was terrific. Obviously, the more we work together the better we will get.”
Lastly, there were questions on Valskis’ goalscoring drought and some even claimed that he has been a shadow of himself in recent matches. However, dismissing all the claims, Coyle admitted that he would have liked someone of Rafael Crivellaro’s calibre to facilitate the Lithuanian.
“Nerka has played every minute of football because (David) Grande has been injured all season. We have to give credit to him, even today he has brought Fitzgerald into play, almost scored from 25 yards, but the keeper made a great save. So, ultimately people look and they think that ‘oh he has not scored a goal.’ A striker can’t score every game, it is physically not possible even for the top strikers in the world.
“I think we would love to have someone like a Crivellaro, it will certainly add to what I want to do moving forward. But, as I have said before, this will always be about developing Jamshedpur FC as a club. They have never been to playoffs and we are making sure that we are in the fight to do that. With six games to go if we collect points, we will be in with a chance,” Owen Coyle concluded.