The winner of the ATKMB-JFC clash will face Kerala Blasters in the playoffs.

Juan Ferrando-led ATK Mohun Bagan FC lock horns with Owen Coyle’s Jamshedpur FC for the biggest and closing game of the league stage. The Mariners have seen a turnaround in fortunes since Juan Ferrando took over. They are unbeaten in 15 games under him and are third in the table with 37 points from 19 games.

On the other hand, Jamshedpur are coming off a 5-1 victory over Odisha FC. They are on top with 40 points with a game to go. Only Hyderabad FC have scored more goals than them and the Men of Steel have an exceptional goal difference of +20 having netted 41 times. Both teams are eying the league shield and so we can expect a treat to eyes.

ATK Mohun Bagan Coach Juan Ferrando

Eyeing the game as final?

Juan Ferrando: Of course, we’re motivated because this is a great challenge for us. I’m happy because we have a great chance to win the Shield until the very last day and last game. It’s not going to be easy, we have a lot of respect for Jamshedpur FC, but we need to focus on our jobs, put focus on our own energy. In the end, I hope our plans are successful tomorrow.

Need to win by two-goal margin to win League Winners’ Shield

Juan Ferrando: It’s a good challenge. In the end, if you want to win the regular league championship, it’s necessary to try and get three points in every game. This is our challenge, we’ll go in and try to score many goals. But, for me, it’s not just against Jamshedpur, but in all the games, we try to go in and not win 1-0 but 2-0 or 3-0.

I hope we have success, but it’s necessary to control the timing with every minute and we know it’s not so easy. To be honest, it’s a great opportunity because we’re in the last game with one opportunity to win the Shield. In this situation, I’m happy and not scared because I feel we have one opportunity to win this together.

Will the team go all-out attack?

Juan Ferrando: We have one plan, but in this plan the most important thing is that I trust in my players and my team 100%. I know they want to do their best, but of course in football, you have to put energy into details when you have control. But, it’s not possible to control when things are not in our hands, it’s better not to lose energy. I’m happy because I absolutely trust in my players, those starting and the substitutions and also those out of the squad. I know they can help the team and that’s the most important thing for me.

Hugo Boumous to feature in the game?

Juan Ferrando: He was out of the squad because he has a groin injury and that’s difficult. The recovery for groin injuries needs time because sometimes when the feeling is good, but when you are playing you feel pain and it’s difficult to play. I think it’s necessary to keep calm and we hope he has a good recovery.

Team News

Juan Ferrando: (Michael) Soosairaj is injured. He’s out of the squad. Not just for tomorrow, but for the semi-finals too. I’m very upset because he’s working a lot, but okay we’ll support him because he’s a very good player and a good person and he’ll 100% come back very strong. Avilash (Paul) is still out. We’ll see what happens with Williams and Hugo, as well as the rest of the players. We haven’t had much time to recover properly for games, so it’s normal for fitness issues to creep within some players.

Jamshedpur FC Coach Owen Coyle

Thoughts ahead of the game 

Owen Coyle: Everyone as a football club is excited for this game as we play wonderful opponents. We have a wonderful team, we have won nine out of the last ten games. Jamshedpur FC have a chance to finish as ATK Mohun Bagan at the number one position. We know that we are the very best and we’ll approach that game to win it. If we do, we’ll finish at number one and win the shield. We have already taken Jamshedpur to the playoffs for the first time and we aim to win it too as we want to give our fans something tangible to celebrate.

Thoughts on his squad’s performance so far

Owen Coyle: I’m delighted for all my players. It’s not just about foreign players or Indian players, it’s a collective process. It’s been great to see young Boris (Singh), Ritwik (Das), Mobashir (Rahman), Narender (Gahlot). We bought Rehenesh (TP) after he was released by Kerala Blasters, Dinliana (Renthlei) didn’t get time at Chennaiyin, Ricky (Lallawmawma) wasn’t involved with ATK. Len Doungel and Ishan (Pandita) didn’t play much at FC Goa, Pronay (Halder), Boris (Singh) didn’t get game time at ATK Mohun Bagan but proved at Jamshedpur FC. I recognised their ability and gave them their opportunity and I’m glad how they’ve excelled. 

Thoughts on Daniel Chima

Owen Coyle: Daniel Chima was an outstanding player and I always knew it. He wasn’t utilised properly, but it never took away from my belief in the quality of Daniel Chima. Sometimes you need the right player or the right system. Daniel Chima has come in and scored and created goals. He’s a team player who plays with a big smile on his face. He’s added to the quality that we already had. And there’s a lot that I can tell you.

For more football updates, follow Khel Now on TwitterInstagram and join our community on Telegram.