The tactician looked enthusiastic before his third season in Indian football.

Earlier in July 2021, Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle appeared for the latest episode Khel Now’s ‘Beyond The Scores’ podcast. He had a candid conversation with host Ashish Negi, covering several topics including the stint with Chennaiyin FC and his maiden campaign with Jamshedpur FC, as covered by our articles here and here respectively.

This particular article pertains to the third part of the interaction, wherein the 55-year-old speaks about his hopes and ambitions with Jamshedpur FC in the forthcoming 2021-22 season of the Indian Super League (ISL).

The Scotsman expressed what he expects from the next season, what are the preparations like and more. He revealed that the main aim will be to guide the Men of Steel to their maiden playoffs qualification. However, there are newer and tougher challenges the outfit must overcome in order to achieve their target.

Key areas for improvement ahead of next season

Owen Coyle on Khel Now’s ‘Beyond The Scores’ podcast

The tactician gave an honest account of the areas where his team can improve in the 2021-22 season.

“I think we can improve in every area, we want to be very strong defensively, we want to make sure we are still a force in that department. That gives you a platform to move forward,” he said.

“It’s fair to say we do want to add a bit more creativity, we have plenty of speed in the wide areas, we have goalscorers. If we do that (have more creativity) then it’s going to be an exciting season. We are looking forward to it anyway,” the boss explained.

A chance for young Indian players to impress

The 55-year-old mentioned how the young domestic players in the team will have a chance to stake a claim in the upcoming season.

“We got some wonderful players at the club, we got some emerging players, I thought Mobashir (Rahman) came into his own last year, it’s great to see young Indian players, we have Sandeep (Mandi) who is only a kid and with some experience he is going to get better.”

“Young Boris, I mean, that boy everyday he bounces in with a smile on his face, he just lights the place up. We have Farukh (Choudhary) back, Len’s (Doungel) there and young Jitendra (Singh) as well who showed in training that he is ready to play. The pre-season gives them all a wonderful opportunity to stake their claim for a place in the team,” he further added.

The growing importance of domestic players

The tactician touched upon the new rule which will require clubs to field only four players in the lineup. This will give an extra spot for a domestic player in the playing XI, which Owen Coyle suggests is a good step.

“The domestic players will be important because there is an extra place available as well. The foreign players add a great value but there comes a time when you have to develop Indian players and opportunities like this, with an extra spot allows those young players to step forward and show their qualities,” he opined.

The Jamshedpur FC boss also hinted on new additions to the squad for next season by saying, “We have a couple of domestic signings, not announced yet but certainly close to being completed which is great. I want to have young exciting players that we can work with, coach and develop so that they play for Jamshedpur for many many years.”

Importance of a good pre-season

Owen Coyle on Indian Football Team, ISL, Jamshedpur FC, Chennaiyin FC, big budgets & more

Speaking in relation to the plans for the pre-season ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, Owen Coyle suggests the importance of more time.

“When you do a pre-season, it is not designed to cover you for two or three games, but for the whole season. Coaches always go on about pre-season because it’s so important. It allows you to implement your ideas, but it also allows you to get your players physically and mentally in a very good place.”

The ambitions next year 

Owen Coyle also opined on the upcoming season with Jamshedpur FC and his expectations from it.

“Goals and expectations will be very simple, we want to be in those playoffs. We want to be competing to win that trophy and give the fans something to really get excited about. I think they have seen a lot of progress last year, how close we came and Jamshedpur has this history of trailing off in the second half of the season,” he expressed.

“I wish the (previous) season went another month because we were the team that was winning games, showing our qualities. What we have to do is where we finished the season, carry that into the new season. Look to place ourselves in the playoffs and a chance to be champions,” he concluded.

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