The 54-year-old believes that Jamshedpur FC do have a realistic chance of qualifying for the ISL play-offs…
Jamshedpur FC coach Owen Coyle feels that the additions of Seiminlen Doungel and Farukh Choudhary in the January transfer window of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) will inject more pace in his squad. Doungel has been signed on a loan deal till the end of thre season from FC Goa while Farukh is part of a swap deal with Jackichand Singh who has moved to Mumbai City.
“We need to add speed and that’s what we have done. Jacki is a very good player but what we don’t have is real speed at the top end of the pitch. Farukh was a huge threat for Jamshedpur last year and he will be again. And it wasn’t just a straight swap for Jamshedpur. There was obviously finance involved,” Coyle shared.
“And moving forward, Farukh is a very young player and Jacki almost hasn’t scored yet this season. He had three assists from 12 games. So in Farukh, we have both a young and quality player who can both score and create goals. We wish Jacki well but in Len Doungel as well, we have real speed. So there’s no doubt it’s good business by Jamshedpur,” he insisted.
Going into their tie against Hyderabad FC on Sunday, the Red Miners have lost all of their three games in January so far and are currently eighth with 13 points from 12 games.
Jamshedpur have, since their entry in the ISL from the 2017-18 season, never made it to the play-offs of the competition but Coyle feels that his side has done better than the results have shown.
“Nobody ever likes to lose games. I can only speak about this season. We have shown that we can compete against the very best. We had a horrible week. There’s no doubt about that. [With] the performances that we have had, we could have some points against Kerala Blasters (lost 3-2) and NorthEast United (lost 2-1). The margins are very fine and we have to make sure to be on the right side of those margins.
“Some people just look at results and analyse the teams – because the team won, they were the better team. That’s not really the case. So we need to pick ourselves up. We need games to go fight out for those play-off spots,” he reasoned.
“If anybody knows the challenge of doing that (making the play-offs), is myself. Because I was down there (Chennaiyin FC) at the bottom last year and then we had a tremendous run. Jamshedpur is in a far better position than last season. So we are more than capable of making up the deficit to get there,” said the former Chennaiyin gaffer.
Owen Coyle also praised the performance of the Indian players at Hyderabad FC. He credited the club for helping develop the next generation of Indian players who would serve the Indian national team.
“When you look through the team (Hyderabad), there are young players that have come in. They have obviously learned from the disappointing season they had last year. The fullbacks [Asish] Rai and [Akash] Mishra have been very good. Sana (Chinlensana Singh) and Liston (Colaco) as well. All credit to them and it’s great for the development of the national team. We’re very respectful and vary of them but we will make sure to stop them from bringing their top game against us,” he mentioned.
The former Burnley manager is keen to change their fortunes and get back to winning ways in order to stay in contention for a berth in the top four.
“I think that (points required to make it to the play-offs) is a tough one to call. If I look back to last year, things can change very quickly. What you have to do, regardless of what the target or points total is, is you have to make sure to have the momentum with you. You can have that when you start winning games and that’s what we look to do,” he signed out.