Value the relationship I share with Stewart: Coyle

Owen Coyle and Sandy Stewart (both from Scotland) are as thick as thieves so much so that the current Chennaiyin FC boss has taken his trusted lieutenant along with him for all his full-time coaching assignments so far.
Value the relationship I share with Stewart: Coyle
Owen Coyle


Ever since Coyle landed a managerial job at St Johnstone in 2005, the two sharp-witted tacticians have been inseparable. Following spells in Scotland, England and the United States of America, Coyle and Stewart are currently masterminding a late push for a play-offs spot in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20.  

“We were teammates at Airdrie in 1990. Fortunately, we struck a bond right away. During our early days in coaching, we both performed a dual role, of that of a player-cum-coach. When I became the gaffer of St Johnstone, I had the opportunity to bring Stewart in. Since then, we have been together,” Coyle told DT Next in afree-wheeling chat.

A day after John Gregory’s successor, Coyle, took charge of the two-time title-winner, assistant coach Stewart put ink to paper with CFC. “I value the relationship I share with him. He is a fantastic coach. It is important to have very good support staff that assist you. At Chennaiyin, we have some great coaches in Stewart, Sabir Pasha and Konstantinos Rostantis,” said the53-year-old.

CFC (18 points from 13 games) is enjoying a mini resurgence under the new leadership group, having collected 13 points from its last seven fixtures. On a three-match winning run, the Chennai-based unit is now well and truly in the mix for a spot in the knockoutstage of the country’stop-tier competition.

Asked if Chennaiyin can make the cut for the top-four, Coyle, who was tasked with picking up the pieces, responded, “We still have a lot of work to do. Having earned some points in the last few games, we have given ourselves a chance. The only thing we are thinking about is winning because draws or defeats won’t help our cause. We want to try and make an exciting end to the season.”

Although Coyle was away from the beautiful game for about 21 months before signing up for the Marina Machans, he didn’t lose one bit of passion for football. His animated behaviour on the touchline has kept the Chennaiyin dugout buzzing, a sight hardly familiar during the previousmanager’s tenure.

“We (coaches and players) absolutely love the game. The enthusiasm is always there. We care about winning and the style we are playing. Sometimes, football is a very emotional game. For me, it’s important I show those emotions. I want the people to know how much I care about whatI am doing,”he revealed. 

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