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Indian Super League

Owen Coyle expecting a great game between two attacking sides

15:58 GMT+3 15/02/2020
Chennaiyin vs FC Goa
The Scottish manager also praised Anirudh Thapa and reiterated that he is the best Indian midfielder in the league....

Chennaiyin FC will hope to continue their incredible comeback in the Indian Super League (ISL) under Owen Coyle with games against ATK, Mumbai City FC and NorthEast United FC up next. 

The Marina Machans need to win all their remaining games to finish fourth and qualify for the play-offs. However, they will know that ATK, who are chasing the top-spot, will be equally determined to take the three points on Sunday.

Coach Owen Coyle shed some light on the two in-form teams locking horns at the Salt Lake Stadium.

“We have come here to win. We recognise we are playing against a very good team. ATK have 12 points from the last 15 and we have 13. So it is a game between the two in-form teams in the league. ATK are trying to get the three points to finish on top of the table and we are trying for the three points to get closer to the top-four.

"They are a good team and I’m sure they know that we are a good team with good players. We have shown that when we are at our very best, we can cause problems to any defence and that’s what we will look to do. We respect ATK but we don’t fear coming here. We have to be at our best to win the game. It’s an outstanding stadium, the pitch looks good and we are looking to play here.

“We can win. I can judge the team only based on my time here. When I came here, we were bottom of the table with Hyderabad. You see where Hyderabad are now, with all due respects, you will see that we as a group have made a difference. ATK, along with Chennaiyin, are two-time champions for a reason. 

"We have to go to Mumbai and win and against NorthEast in the game in hand. So our fate lies in our hands. Everybody had written us off when I had come to the club and we were destined to finish at the bottom of the club. But we have shown that with good players and the way we play, we can win games,” the Scottish manager said.

Coyle also showered heavy praise on the Indian players and singled out Anirudh Thapa, who he claimed is the best Indian midfielder in the league.

“We have shown that we can score goals and entertain. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with such a group. The foreign players get a lot of accolades but I have found working with the Indian players enjoyable. I have seen them getting better and I believe that the more you spend time with them, and with good coaching, they will develop and grow.

"I’ve said it before but he (Thapa) is the best Indian midfielder in the league. He has such a high potential. He wants to get better and make a huge contribution to the national team," he said.

The 53-year-old admitted that ATK's attack has been the best in the ISL over the course of the league. But he also pointed out that Chennaiyin have fared well in the attacking department under him.

“I think ATK have had the best attack over the course of the season. I think we have been close to the best attack in the last few games. Roy Krishna is an outstanding player. They have some wonderful players. We have to find a way to deal with that, understand the threat. I see two attack-minded teams going head-to-head tomorrow. We have to cope with their threat and they will have to cope with ours," Coyle concluded.