Chennaiyin FC’s head coach Owen Coyle was delighted after his team’s thumping 5-1 win against Punjab FC in the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai on Sunday. The Marina Machans dominated from the word go as they ticked the right boxes.
Ryan Edwards, Connor Shields, Crivellaro, and Vincy Barretto found themselves on the scoring sheet as the home team came up with a collective effort. The hosts were just brilliant in the first half, taking a 3-0 lead whereas they scored two more goals in the second half.
“That 25-minute spell playing 11 v 11, we were outstanding. Some of the best football, even from my sixth season – I mean, some of the football we played in those 25 minutes was outstanding. That’s what we need to bring. We have to keep delivering it every week. We know that we’ve been in more threatening positions in our league than anybody else, but we might not always provide that final quality or the decisive pass to create opportunities. However, we did that tonight. If you look at the variety, it was all different types. These are the things we’ve been working on in training, so it’s gratifying when they come to fruition,” Coyle stated in the post-match press conference.
Coyle started Rahim Ali as a number 9 and he revealed that he isn’t afraid to try new things to improve their chances of winning.
“Rahim Ali is a fantastic player. He’s a fantastic team player and I have no fear of trying new things. In season six, I was probably the only coach who played two Indian midfielders. In this season, I played Rahim Ali as a number nine. You saw him tonight, and even though he didn’t score, he could have taken the penalty because he takes penalties as well. Instead, he gave it to Rafa, which is admirable because Rahim could have scored as well. His work rate, the chances he created for others, and his selfless performance were truly impressive. It was a significant team effort, and I hope there’s more to come from him,” he said.
Coyle reckons it is imperative to end the season on a high and he wants his team to keep working hard to get the desired result.
“When a season starts, it’s not how you start a season; it’s how you finish a season. And as we all know too well at this fantastic football club, I never get too high. But equally, I don’t get too low. I look at it, I analyze it. On balance, we had the best first chance in every game,” he opined.
Chennayin FC will next take on FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai on Sunday.