Midway through the current campaign, Jamshedpur FC and head coach Scott Cooper are to part ways. The decision was taken following the Red Miners’ 4-1 loss versus Odisha FC. On July 14, 2023, Jamshedpur FC named Scott Cooper as their new coach in place of Aidy Boothroyd, who led the team in the previous campaign. With a view of returning the former ISL Shield winners to their appropriate position, Scott Cooper was hired on a two-year deal. However, things did not turn out as planned, so Cooper is set to be shown the door of early departure.
Despite what appeared to be a respectable start to the campaign, Jamshedpur FC has only won two of their twelve games, placing them 10th in the league standings as the halfway mark of the campaign draws near. Their two wins came against Hyderabad FC, who are currently bottom of the standings having not won any games this season. Despite having a strong defense in the early stages of the season, Scott Cooper’s side have conceded 12 goals in the previous six games averaging two goals per game.
Their failure to score goals this season was, however, their primary cause of concern. This season, they have only scored 12 goals in 12 games, five of which came against Hyderabad FC in one game. Scott Cooper’s concerns started even before the ISL started since his star striker, Petar Sliskovic, who was in good form in the pre-season was ruled out for the whole campaign due to an injury he suffered in a preseason match. That said, because of his injury, they were forced to rely only on Daniel Chima Chukwu, who arrived late for the preseason due to problems with his visa. Chima, as expected, was struggling to find form at the start of the season.
To fill the vacuum left by Sliskovic, they recruited 26-year-old French forward Steve Ambri. However, Ambri has only made three starts and has missed the previous two matches. Another worry for Scott Cooper has been injuries to key players. The best Indian player for Jamshedpur in the previous two seasons, Ritwik Das, has missed much of the season due to injury. Pronay Halder, who started the first three games, is also sidelined for the remainder of the campaign. The Serbian striker Alen Stevanovic has fallen short of his expectations. He has made ten appearances this season without recording a goal or an assist, which has added to the team’s goal-scoring problems.
Scott Cooper publicly criticized his players’ performance in the press conference after their 1-0 loss to Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. He issued a warning, saying that certain players in the team must be concerned about their futures when the transfer window opens because they don’t have the kind of dedication and motivation he seeks in his players. Given how rarely managers speak negatively about their present group of players, this was a clear indicator of his discontent with them. Cooper’s tenure at Jamshedpur was effectively over with the 4-1 loss against Odisha FC.
Right now, things do not appear to be going well for Jamshedpur FC. Despite being led by Owen Coyle to win the ISL Shield in 2021–22, they have utterly failed to live up to the hype. They had a dismal campaign the previous year, finishing second from the bottom under Aidy Boothroyd. They thought that things would improve under Scott Cooper’s direction after parting ways with Aidy Boothroyd. But again this year, they are in a similar situation halfway through the season, and their coach has been fired. Who will lead the team in the future Kalinga Super Cup, which is scheduled for January 2024, is still to be determined.
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