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Jamshedpur v Chennaiyin

Chennaiyin FC's Owen Coyle rues poor refereeing decision

17:31 GMT 09/12/2019
Chennaiyin FC
The former Bolton coach spoke of the importance of ‘game management’ after their draw with Jamshedpur…

Chennaiyin FC coach Owen Coyle could only manage a draw against Jamshedpur FC in his very first game in the Indian Super League (ISL). The visitors should have taken full points from the tie had it not been for the refereeing error where Farukh Choudhary handled Isaac Vanmalsawma’s shot on its way in.

“I really enjoyed the match. It was a fantastic atmosphere, the fans, the stadium. All credit to the home club. But I am very disappointed sitting here not with the three points. We had a marvelous game, we completely controlled the first half. We dealt with the pressure well. They are a great side who can create pressure.

“The disappointment lies because the points have been taken away from us, it was a clear handball. I will not argue whether it was intentional or unintentional. I know the referees do a difficult job. We looked a good team tonight. I am pleased on how we took the game to Jamshedpur and if we continue to perform like that, it will lead us to more wins than draws,” said the experienced coach.

Coyle once again mentioned that making the cut into the top four of the league is very much possible if his players learn how to manage a game. This is the third straight game where Chennaiyin have conceded a late goal.

“Top four is achievable and to do that it is necessary to make sure to be in positions, like we did today. It was a hand-ball goal but it we could have created more pressure. We need to understand ‘game management’, how to win a game.

“I think I have people who are willing to learn. I want to give the fans who they enjoy watching. Hopefully, we can entertain and win at the same time. We do not fear anyone, we are respectful towards anyone. If we give our best, we can win a game,” he pointed.

Chennaiyin missed several chances to double their lead especially Lallianzuala Chhangte, who was wasteful in possession in the second half. The Mizoram winger got into good positions but his final ball or shot lacked punch.

“We looked a better side in the first half. The whole team had a lot of pressure in the second half. We were sitting-back and were relying on counter-attacks. But when we headed for counter-attacks, we could have scored three four times in the second half.

“They have a very good coach (Antonio Iriondo), they will be competing for the play-offs. We have enough time to win matches. It will be difficult, but I saw a lot of good signs tonight. There were some terrific performances by the Indian players tonight. Everything we thought of doing in the first half, we did that. It was a high intensity match. I think it’s a team with aggression. If we continue playing like this, we can win more matches,” he opined.

Dragos Firtulescu suffered an injury late in the game and Coyle provided an update on the Romanian winger.

“No, it is a minor injury, hopefully he will be okay. The boys want to be a part of this team,” he signed off.

Chennaiyin FC next travel to Guwahati to face NorthEast United on Thursday.