The former Jamshedpur FC coach will take over from next season.

Owen Coyle’s tenure in the Indian Super League ended a few days back. The former Scottish footballer had a remarkable 2021-22 season, where he led his team Jamshedpur FC to win the League Winners’ Shield. As a result, Jamshedpur FC are the third team in the history of the ISL to bag the accolade. After the season ended for Jamshedpur, on March 22, Owen Coyle expressed his desire to return home due to family reasons. Days later, the tactician was appointed as the head coach of Scottish League One side Queen’s Park FC.

Coyle worked in India since 2019, when he joined Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League. The 55-year-old deserves credit from the Indian football vertical for gifting fabulous foreigners such as Greg Stewart. He also brought out the best from players such as Ritwik Das (Indian), Nerijus Valskis and Daniel Chima!

In this article, we will be talking about Owen Coyle’s new club Queen’s Park!

Queen's Park FC
Queen’s Park are currently playing in the Scottish League third division

Last Season’s Performance: First (Champions)

In 2020/21, Queen’s Park FC finished at the helm of the Scottish League Two and thus earned a promotion to League One. The team played 22 matches in the league and secured 17 wins, three draws and just two losses. In the process, they scored 43 goals and conceded just 13.

Owen Coyle will take charge of the Spiders from next season. The ongoing League One hasn’t wrapped up yet. Queen’s Park are in the fourth position in the table. They have 46 points to their name. The feat comprises 10 wins, 16 draws and five losses. The side have scored 46 goals and conceded 30 in their journey.

With the Spiders 20 points behind league leaders Cove Rangers and with just five games, the top spot is beyond reach . This means that the club will take part in the playoffs, which will feature the second, third and fourth team from League One and the ninth-placed team of the Scottish Championship, tier-2 league. The winner from here will be the second entrant in the Scottish Championship.

Coaching Staff

Owen Coyle
Coyle guided Jamshedpur FC to their first piece of silverware (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Queen’s Park were managed by Ray McKinnon. The 49-year-old managed the side from January 2020 till May 2021. It was under his tutelage that the Spiders gained promotion to the third tier in Scotland. Infact, during the 2019-20 season, after Mark Roberts left, he helped the side finish fifth in League Two.

The current coaching staff comprises of Gardner Speirs as the caretaker manager. Notably, Speirs is also the academy manager of the Spiders. He has been at the club since 2016. Once Owen Coyle takes charge, Speirs is likely to shift back to manage the academy.

The Spiders enjoy the guidance of Glen Johnson as the goalkeeping coach. Johnson was the goalkeeping coach of Pune FC in the 2013/14 season.

Caretaker Manager: Gardner Speirs
Goalkeeping Coach: Glen Johnson

Squad (2021/22)

Goalkeepers: Wullie Muir, Calum Ferrie, Jacques Heraghty.

Defenders: Lee Kilday, Peter Grant, Stuart Morrison, Charlie Fox, Tommy Robson, Max Gillies, Michael Doyle.

Midfielders: Luca Connell, Jake Davidson, Liam Brown, Darren Lyon, Grant Gillespie, Jack Thomson, Lewis Moore, Calum Biggar, Connor McBride, Ronan Darcy, Connor Smith, Luis Longstaff.

Forwards: Bob McHugh, Louis Longridge, Simon Murray, Will Baynham, Jai Quitongo.

Strengths

  • The team are adept at scoring goals. In the 31 matches of League One, they have already scored 46 goals. Only two other teams, namely, Cove Rangers (63) and Airdrieonians (55) have scored more goals than them.
  • Queen’s Park FC have played 25 matches this season in a 4-2-3-1 formation. They have won 11 games and drawn 9. It seems as if they are well accustomed to this system of play.
  • In League One, the Spiders have played 15 home games and have lost only twice.

Weakness

  • The Spiders have conceded more goals this time than last season. In 2020/21, in League Two, they conceded 13 goals in 22 matches. Meanwhile, this season in League One, they have already conceded 30 goals in 31 matches.
  • In League One, Queen’s Park’s away record (win) is extremely low. In 16 away games, the Spiders have managed to secure only three victories.

Key players to watch

Bob McHugh

Bob McHugh
McHugh has contributed towards 12 goals this season for the club (Courtesy: Queen’s Park FC)

The centre-forward has been a standout performer for the Spiders. He has scored seven goals in 32 games across all competitions till now in 2021/22. The 30-year-old also has five assists to his name. Hailing from Glasgow, the forward has appeared five times for the Scotland U-19 side. Eventually, he has scored three goals in national colours.

McHugh has also played for Scottish clubs like Falkirk, Airdrieonians, Greenock Morton and Queen of the South. The Glasgow man rose through the ranks of Motherwell FC and appeared 91 times for them and scored on eight occasions.

Louis Longridge

Longridge, 30, has been at Queen’s Park FC since August 2020. He was previously plying his trade for Falkirk in 2019/20. In June 2021, the club extended his contract for another year, which is supposed to end this year in May.

The Scot has netted six goals and provided five assists in 31 appearances across all competitions. Though Longridge is a centre-forward, he can also operate from the wings.

Luca Connell

Luca Connell
Connell is playing on loan from Celtic FC (Courtesy: Queen’s Park FC)

Born in Liverpool, Connell is a citizen of Ireland. Just 20, he has already played 15 matches for Ireland’s underage teams. The prodigy has been playing on loan at Queen’s Park FC from Celtic since March 2021. Infact, after his first stint concluded in May 2021, Connell was signed again (on loan) for the following season in September.

A defensive-midfielder by trade, the youngster has netted six goals and provided three assists in his 24 appearances for the club.

What To Expect?

It will be a huge achievement for Queen’s Park FC if they make their way to the Championship. Owen Coyle has proved his class for clubs like Burnley (gained promotion under his tutelage) and Jamshedpur FC (League Winners’ Shield).

An indomitable spirit, true aggression on the field and the urge to win each and every battle shall be what the fans can expect from the 55-year-old manager.

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