After an intense match between the Men of Steel and SC East Bengal in their first game of the 2021-22 season, our Head Coach, Owen Coyle talked about the areas that need improvement, opportunities that the team received, the changes and strategy for the game, and much more.
Here are the excerpts from the post-match interview:
Are there any areas to improve upon after this game?
Yes, absolutely! I mean I am disappointed in the goal we conceded. I think it was avoidable. The goalkeeper did his job and the ball was parried out, but then if it falls to the players and bumps off each other. I feel that’s something we could’ve avoided. SC East Bengal did not receive too many opportunities in the first half, although the dangers of Perosevic and Chima were there. But the chances we had, that’s another part we have to improve upon and be more clinical, especially with the wonderful chances we had in the second half as we certainly did enough to win the game.
So of course, as always, there is a lot to improve .
Regarding the team selection, was it hard to keep Jordan Murray and Greg Stewart on the bench?
Of course it was hard and that’s a difficulty all the coaches are going to face as the league has now reduced the number of foreign players on the pitch from last season. Jordan was out with a niggle on the groin and Greg had a little issue with his thigh, but still he has made his comeback in 5 days and you can see they are both wonderful players. Obviously, that’s a dilemma the head coach will have, but there is no doubt in the talent of the players that we possess. Valskis and Alex were outstanding tonight, the two center-backs, Eli Sabia and Hartley, are wonderful players. So of course, there's going to be a challenge in team selection. Ultimately in every game we play, we have to watch out for an issue like that and balance the team out, try and win games and I feel we had that tonight.
Your thoughts on that on the bunch of chances, especially in the second half
I think we dominated a large part of the game. SC East Bengal have a wonderful goalkeeper. I know that he broke my heart two years ago in the play-off finals. He is a terrific goalkeeper and he showed his quality when he made one or two wonderful saves tonight, and that’s what he’s there for and that’s why you want to have good goalkeepers that do their job. We had such wonderful chances in the second half and we actually should have been more clinical. But, I’m always accepting that SC East Bengal were really dangerous with Perosevic, Chima and other wonderful players, so we also have to be mindful of those threats. But I feel we certainly had enough chances in the second half that could have led to possible goals.
Jamshedpur kept pushing for the equaliser in the first half, what are your thoughts on the attitude of the players?
We have that never-say-die attitude and we also made some positive changes in the half-time as well as in the second half because our aim was not to share the points from a draw but rather score all three points with a win. But SC East Bengal made it difficult, they were working hard, they have a terrific coach, a man that's got an absolutely great pedigree, and they showed real steel and real grit. But, we did have many opportunities to score and I think there were a lot of pleasing aspects as well as the stuff that we need to work with moving forward.
You made many tactical changes during the match, how good is it to have a winning squad?
I think that's an important aspect that we have and I didn't have this luxury last year, because we were limited in terms of substitution. But what we're trying to build is a squad. We're not quite there yet, but we're starting to build the squad in each transfer window and bring in quality players to Jamshedpur so that we can have some longevity and build upon it, instead of having a good team temporarily and I think we are getting there. That being said, when we make those changes, we want all three points, and we do have the opportunity to do that currently.
Your thoughts on the refereeing tonight, was it another frustrating game due to their decisions?
I know it's a tough job to be a referee and there’s no doubt about it. There were a few things that frustrated me tonight like the foul on Alex Lima in the middle of the park, at the end of the game, was a clear foul which was taken advantage of. It could have led to a goal by Jackichand, but it went over the crossbar. In my mind, it was a clear foul but that being said, the referees, again, have been allotted a tough job to do.
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