Sun. Oct 25th, 2020

Owen Coyle – Poor pitch at Odisha must be looked into

3 min read

The Chennaiyin FC gaffer raised his concerns over the poor pitch at the Kalinga Stadium…

Chennaiyin FC suffered a second successive defeat in the Indian Super League (ISL) for the first time in the Owen Coyle era after being outplayed by Odisha FC at the Kalinga Stadium.

The 53-year-old admitted that there were times when their opponents were clearly the better side. But he also claimed that the poor state of the pitch had a massive impact on the game and is something that needs to be looked into.

He said, “I think it was a setback. It was self-inflicted. At 0-0, we had a penalty, a perfect opportunity to get in front. If we go in front, I’m convinced we would have gone ahead and won the game. But we missed the wonderful opportunity. We don’t want to make excuses because Odisha scored two goals. But in the first goal, the field played a part.

“Laldinliana (Renthlei) comes to clear the ball, he puts his foot on the ground and you can see that lumps of it came off and he tripped. The second goal was a wonderful goal from outside the box. It was a very good move from Odisha and sometimes you need to give credit to them.

“But in the second half, there was only one team in it and it was Chennaiyin. Odisha could not create anything, their goalkeeper made some wonderful saves. There were a couple of penalty claims that weren’t given. So, in the second half, there were some positives.

“Going forward, I don’t think that field must be allowed to host games in the ISL until it settles down. Because it has been lumps of grass coming off. I’m surprised there were no injuries. It was the same field for both teams, so this is not an excuse. This is just a concern going forward. Odisha are a very good side and that pitch does not help them either.

Coyle called for positivity going into the next stretch of games. The Irishman also pointed to the flaws in his team and explained why that they must not be conceding so early on in the game.

“We still have a lot of games and points to win, we also have a game in hand that we need to win. We need to find our rhythm and momentum. When we do that, we can start picking up points. There is still a lot of points to be played for. We need to cut the mistakes and the forward play at the top end of the pitch must be clinical. If we do that, we can win games. We put a lot into the game and we will be ready to bounce back against Hyderabad FC which is in a few days time.

“Similar to the Goa game, we gave ourselves a lot to do before half-time and then in the second half, we were then outstanding just as we were today. I think we need to stop giving good sides early goals. If we do that, we can cause anybody problems, like we did tonight,” he concluded.

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