After another almost-won game turning into a draw, the Head Coach, Owen Coyle, talks about the team’s hard work on the pitch, the outstanding performance delivered by Greg Stewart and much more.
Here are the excerpts from the post-match interview:
Will you consider it as two points dropped considering the dominance the team showed in the first half?
I think we could have been a couple of goals up at half-time. They only had one chance in the form of a free header from the corner and we should be a bit fair in our assessment of the game. But, we feel that over the period of time, we should have gotten the three points. With that being said, when you have Ogbeche on the field against you, if you give even a little bit of a chance, then he can produce a little bit of change in the margin like he did tonight. I don’t think Rehenesh had a lot of shots to be saved in the game, but in the second half we had some wonderful opportunities from which we could have scored and won the game. It’s another game unbeaten, and we probably should have gotten more points but we are showing some really pleasing signs on the field and I think we will continue to get better as we move forward.
Last time you said we haven’t seen the best of Greg Stewart. Did we see his best today or is there more to come from him?
I think there’s more to come from him. I still don’t think he is at his maximum potential. He even had a few niggles in his thigh coming into the season but has performed really well regardless of the injury. But everyday he is working so hard. We saw wonderful qualities from him tonight as we saw him beat the defenders with ease but unfortunately hit the post with his first shot but then he went on to score an unbelievably good goal which he is totally capable of. He is also good at passing and making plays on the field with the team. He is a wonderful team player as he supports his teammates a lot and he will be important for us moving forward in the season.
The Hyderabad FC coach mentioned that it was the worst 45 minutes of his time at HFC. Would you take it as a compliment?
Yes I will. I have known him for a long time, as a player and as a coach. Sometimes you don’t play well because the opposition doesn’t allow you to play well. We pressed high and played with high intensity as soon as we got the ball back to us and that is a part of how we went about the game. So yeah it’s a compliment to the team’s performance that we worked hard and forced Hyderabad into making some errors at times, which is what we need to continue to do in the upcoming games because they got the best of our game in the second half. We might not always be in control of the game for the whole duration but when we are, we need to make sure that we see it through and make the most out of the chances as we should have tonight.
Will we see the rotation between Peter Hartley and Eli Sabia frequently?
No, the skipper was unwell for the last couple of days and Eli, who is a wonderful centre-back, missed out on the last game against FC Goa. So there’s a chance two of them might play together which will make another foreign player on the field to be on the bench. In the end it’s about getting the perfect balance. We also had Jordan Murray missing today due to an injury. So there’s real competition for places in the squad. But the skipper, Peter Hartley, and Eli Sabia are fully fit. It's a headache for the coach but I would rather have the players playing well than having them not playing well while being on the pitch. Ultimately, what we have to do is pick a squad that can go and win games because we feel that on any other day, we would have easily won today’s game.