Jamshedpur FC have been one of the more consistent sides in the ISL so far in the 2021-22 season. The Red Miners sit 3rd in the league standings and are in prime position to make it through to the knockout phases. The Men of Steel have 28 points (8 wins and 4 draws) to their tally in 15 matches. Jamshedpur FC had a 3-2 win against Mumbai City FC in their last game. Greg Stewart scored the first goal and gave the team an early lead while Greg Stewart scored a brace to win a thrilling game.
Their opponents are the two-time former champions Chennaiyin FC are 8th in the points table with 20 points (5 wins and 5 draws) in 17 matches. They have failed to record a single win in their last five games and are now six points adrift of the top four. They played out a 2-2 draw against Odisha FC in their last match. Rahim Ali and Nerijus Valskis scored the goals to salvage a point for the Marina Machans.
Ahead of Jamshedpur FC’s clash against Chennaiyin FC FC on Sunday at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, head coach Owen Coyle addressed the media during the pre-match press conference.
Jamshedpur FC have five decisive matches ahead. Owen spoke about how he will approach the next game against the Marina Machans.
“We have to focus and concentrate in each and every game. That’s what we have to do. We have to be ready for the challenge against Chennaiyin FC. They have some wonderful players. I know they have very good players, that went from the bottom of the league when I came in to be near champions.
“So I know the qualities they have and we’re very respectful of that. But equally, I know what we have in Jamshedpur FC which, if we play best, we can win games, and that’s what we need to do on an individual basis, not working two and three games ahead, and try to obtain as many points as early as we can.
Owen spoke about the remaining games and the importance of it with respect to their season.
“We’ll approach our remaining games in the same way we’ve approached every other game, to try and win them, but our biggest game of the season is our next game. In football, if you try to look too far ahead, you’ll get a punch on your nose. You have to focus and concentrate on every game. We have to be ready for the challenge.”
“So the sooner we pick up points, the better for everyone and that’s what we have to do, just walk to the next game. It’s a quick turnaround, we’re scheduled, you know, to play six games in 18 days. So that’s a big challenge in itself, we should recover (after every game), and then get prepared and get into the next game and that’s all work to do.”
Jamshedpur FC have won five out of their last six matches. Owen spoke on how important is it to have such momentum.
“Well, it’s nice to win games. That’s what we have to do. But that being said, what’s behind us cannot affect (us now), what we can affect is what’s to come, and that’s where we need to continue winning games. So it’s all good and well, people saying, you know, you’ve done this, you’ve done that, (but) we’ve achieved nothing.
“This is a club that’s never been in the semi-finals and the top four and that was our target at the start of the season, to try and get in those semi-final spots and give our fans something to show, something to get excited about. We’re still not there. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. I would suggest even harder now, than what we have done to get where we are (now).
This season the ISL have had some unexpected results, with weaker teams defeating the stronger and mighty teams. How does Coyle look into the game ahead.
“Yes, I would suggest the game will be toughest given the season because coming to the business end of the season, we were looking for points. Chennaiyin FC would probably feel that their chances pass them by. But I know them, the pro players, they have quality players.
“I know a lot of players that we are playing against, aren’t an alien and competing against them, there’s no doubt, this is going to be a tough, tough challenge. And they showed that you know, whether you’re SC East Bengal, or at the foot of the table, they can pick up points, tough opponents that can win games of the showing. They can draw games.
“So every game in this league is a tough game, and Chennaiyin FC are dangerous opponents, they’ll get the utmost respect when we have to concentrate on what we do at Jamshedpur FC. And if we are at our very best, of course, we believe that it’s a game that we can win.”
Greg Stewart recently became the highest goal scorer for Jamshedpur FC in a single season. Owen shared his thoughts on him.
“It was a position that I’d been looking for since last season to improve ourselves at Jamshedpur. I felt that was certainly a missing link and how we want to think about it, to have that natural number 10. Wonderful player, which I had in Rafael Crivellaro in Chennaiyin FC.
“Greg Stewart has shown unbelievable qualities. Here’s another thing as well, for people to understand, players like Greg come with a winning mentality, he was a champion with Glasgow Rangers. Daniel Chima – three-time champion with Molde FK (former club). So the players I try to bring in, I want to make sure they are good players, but they also should have that winning mentality.
“So that’s what we are trying to build at Jamshedpur FC, Greg is a huge part of that. I’m a football lover. I love watching good players, even everything, the opposition, you know, when people bring talent, they bring quality. And Greg Stewart has got that very much in abundance, but he’s very much a team player.”
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