"ATK might feel relieved to have won the title", Owen Coyle rues Chennaiyin FC's profligacy after loss to ATK | ISL Final
- Coyle also spoke about how he felt disappointed that his players had to undergo such heartbreak, especially after such a monumental effort.
At the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa, Chennaiyin FC raced off the blocks and immediately put ATK under strife. Subsequently, the former carved out a few gilt-edged opportunities for themselves. But, rather uncharacteristically, they failed to capitalize, meaning that the Kolkata-based outfit rode that storm and ultimately surged into the ascendancy in the 10th minute.
After the game, Owen Coyle looked visibly upset at how the game had transpired, although he maintained the requisite wherewithal to pin-point the facets that didn’t go his side’s way.
"We created a lot of chances and we played a very good game. The only thing that went wrong today was the result. We should have been two up in the first five minutes. But, ultimately, at this level, if you don’t take your chances, you get punished."
However, the Irishman was quick to swat away claims that Antonio Habas’ troops were the better side on the night, stating,
"Don’t tell me that ATK played the better game. We had so much possession and we created so many chances. My disappointment is about how much we put into the game. But, if you don’t take your opportunities and concede soft goals, you pay the price. They were organized and put men behind the ball. If you ask me, ATK might feel relieved that they won the game. But, in knockout matches, it somehow depends on who gets that rub of the green."
In fact, the Marina Machans enjoyed 62% possession and completed 401 passes, as opposed to the 138 racked up by their counterparts. Yet, in sync with the cruel nature of the sport, they were left licking their wounds at the end of the contest.
Thus, at the culmination of a titanic campaign, the only aspect Coyle was left ruing was that the exceptional bunch of players at his disposal had to undergo heartbreak, especially after a miraculous second half of the season.
"I have a wonderful bunch of players and they gave everything for the cause, especially the Indian youngsters. It’s been a joy to work with them. I can’t fault the desire and I am not one of those who will come out and cry if my team loses. I have had lots of experience having endured highs and lows but for those young players, I really feel for them."
He further elaborated on how he envisioned his charges to bounce back from the set-back, maintaining,
"You can either be sorry about your disappointment or you can start working harder from the next day."
Additionally, Coyle remained coy on his future and stressed that that particular topic was better left for another day, when the dust had settled on the ISL final, although he explained that it had been a pleasure working with the club.
Thus, despite all the heroics the Marina Machans conjured through the second phase of the campaign, they had to unfortunately go through the ordeal of a lost final.
Yet, knowing Coyle and the heart his players have displayed during that run, one can expect them to hit their straps once the 2020-21 season of the ISL dawns.
Published 14 Mar 2020, 23:18 IST