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ISL 2023-24: We need to defend better as a group, asserts Chennaiyin FC head coach Coyle

IANS | December 06, 2023 12:56 PM

CHENNAI: Chennaiyin FC are ready to face Jamshedpur FC in Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 on Thursday after back-to-back draws and head coach Owen Coyle asserted the team needs to defend better as a group to register a victory in the upcoming match.

He also expressed his concern regarding cyclone Michaung and said that everyone in the club is with the people of the city in these challenging times.

Cyclone Michaung hit the southern Indian coast on Tuesday with intense winds, its arrival preceded by torrential rains which caused flooding in the city and power cuts in many places. The team did not train due to the cyclone but the Scotsman is confident about his men's performance in the forthcoming contest.

“The team will be ready for a game. With regard to the cyclone, we didn’t train for a few days but I have got to put that into context. Our thoughts and prayers and everybody at our football club is with everyone in the city. Some people tragically and very sadly lost their lives, so, I think we have to give a better perspective to things. Everybody at the football club, from Vita ma'am, from Abhishek all the way through, our thoughts and prayers are with the family that’s lost anybody. It's a traumatic time for everybody, ” commented Coyle ahead of the match.

“Every game you want to win and our last two performances have been at a very high standard. The lads have been playing well despite injury and suspension. Of course, we now go to a tough venue against a fantastic club with an amazing set of supporters. Jamshedpur is incredible and every home game is sold out, they get behind their team. It's a tough game, but it's one we can win, ” he added.

The Marina Machans have won five matches against Jamshedpur in the ISL and Coyle’s men will look to showcase a fine performance away from home in all fronts of the game.

“Jamshedpur is very strong defensively but we don't change the way we play. We don’t play defensive, we play to win games. But of course, as a group, we need to defend better because of the goals we lost at Kerala, which could be avoidable. So, that's about working with this young group, there are little bits that we have to improve on, ” stated the 57-year-old tactician.

“When we came in, we came with our eyes open and we have been also taking nice steps. I mean we’ve created a lot of chances and are certainly up there with the most big chances in the league. So, that shows our creativity, and the quality we have in the wide areas and Jordan Murray is now up to speed as well. We will continue to try and play on the front foot.”

Winger Ninthoinganba Meetei also joined Coyle during the press conference and relished the head coach's belief in him, who spoke of him as a wonderful talent.

“Actually, after that injury now I am getting stronger step by step. I just want to thank the ones who supported me, made me stronger and made me push myself to be better every day. It’s great to go that high, to go to the top, I want to play well and give my best, ” commented the player.

Chennaiyin and Jamshedpur share a close head-to-head record in 12 matches played between them in ISL as the Marina Machans have won five matches, while Jamshedpur registered victories in three games.

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