With Chennaiyin FC languishing in the wrong half of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 table and one-third of the season already over, newly-appointed head coach Owen Coyle has an arduous task at hand.
But Coyle, who has filled in the seat vacated by Englishman John Gregory, doesn’t seem perturbed about CFC’s middling start to ISL 6. “At the moment, we obviously find ourselves with a lot of work to do. But that won’t faze us. We have a good group of players who have the ability to win games. Now, we have to find ways to ensure we do that,” Coyle, whose contract runs until the end of the current season, told DT Next.
Chennaiyin (5 points) has managed just a solitary win from its first six fixtures and sits in the penultimate spot in the standings. Although the team finds itself in dire straits, the Scot felt a couple of victories on the trot would lift it off the bottom. “ISL has shown that if you have momentum and win back-to-back games, it can elevate you up the table. That is what we have to aim for,” said Coyle.
While some testing times await him in his first two assignments, the 53-year-old looked determined to stand the test of time and get CFC, a two-time title-winner, back to where it belongs. Chennaiyin has away trips to Jamshedpur FC and NorthEast United FC up next, sides that have had only one defeat between them this season.
“I know it’s difficult to start with two games on the road, but we are coming in with the belief to make it to the play-offs, and hopefully win the title. Of course, the key is momentum going into the second half.” Having been in the hot seat in Scotland, England and the United States, Coyle is ready to get the ball rolling in Asia for the first time. “I am looking forward to my challenge in India. I have spoken to many colleagues and former players over the years. I have heard only good things about Indian football and the Indian Super League,” added Coyle. Boasting of thorough knowledge of ISL, the debutant was hopeful of enhancing his team and the league.
“So, when the opportunity came about to join Chennaiyin, all these things made it a lot easier for me to take a decision,” concluded Coyle.