ISL- Indian Super League

We’ve to focus on ourselves to develop well: Scott Cooper

Rutvij JoshiRutvij Joshi
September 24 2023

Scott Cooper mentioned of the respect he has for Carles Cuadrat.

Jamshedpur FC travel to Kolkata for their first game of the ongoing ISL season. The Men of Steel face Kolkata giants East Bengal FC in what is expected to be a cracking game of the season. Jamshedpur FC and East Bengal both have had a dismal campaign last season and both the clubs have invested heavily in the summer.

There has also been a personnel change in head coach roles for both sides. Scott Cooper replaced Aidy Boothroyd at the furnace while Carles Cuadrat replaced Englishman Stephen Constantine at the helm of East Bengal.

Jamshedpur FC boss Scott Cooper took questions from the media and here are the best bits of the conversation:

Decision of not playing first team in Durand Cup?

Jamshedpur FC were one of the few ISL teams that did not send the first team in the recently concluded Durand Cup. When asked whether the move of not participating will have any impact on the game against East Bengal, Scott Cooper answered, ”It’s a good question and it remains to be seen if it was a good idea or not. So, in advantages and disadvantages, I can understand Mumbai and Mohun Bagan and teams like East Bengal taking part because they’ve got a history of it and some of them are in the AFC cup, so it’s good preparation for that. We took a decision based on what we had to do. And so having so many games so early also gives you a lack of opportunity to train and find out more about your team.” 

“Some people will argue that you find out more during a game, but I don’t want to put a team into a game unless I already know more and so for us, Jamshedpur has got one distinct advantage in that our training facility is a very small city and it’s very easily navigated so we can get a lot more training time so we went with that route but I can see pros and cons for both but we’re happy with the decision we made,” he added.

On facing East Bengal in the first away game of the ISL season

Jamshedpur FC boss Scott Cooper shared his views on playing East Bengal away from home and said, “I mean we are playing our first game away from home and as a coach i have never minded that. I always feel first game of the season is carnival type of atmosphere at times and it really doesn’t board well a lot of times. So I always prefer to be away first. So I’m happy with that.

“This is the closest away game for us. I’m happy with that. And so as for East Bengal, we’re aware that there’s a couple of injuries. Like all clubs have, like we have too. But regardless of the players they have, they still have a very, very good coach. There’s no doubt about that. So, I would expect them to still be formidable and strong. They are at home. The pressure is on them, really, to be the home team, first game of the season. So we are aware of some of the players that may or may not play.

“And so, we will just consider everything and of course we’ve had discussions and talks. And really though, we can look at East Bengal as much as we want, but we are a developing team. And so we have to really focus on ourselves to develop well and that’s where we focus now,” he added.

On different coaching styles

Carles Cuadrat comes from Spain where the tiki taka culture is prevalent whereas in England from where Scott Cooper comes from is known for their ‘defense first’ approach. Cooper shared his views and concluded, “I don’t think you can take two coach’s passports and it equals any type of playing philosophy at all. I mean I’ve played against some Spanish coaches that go direct, I’ve played against some UK coaches that keep possession, you know, the old age of he’ll go long, but he’ll keep the possession. And so from my perspective, I know who I am as a coach, I know what I want for my teams, you know, and that’s on paper for people to look at. “

“Games are there, you can see there’s a certain consistency in style, not necessarily formation because that always depends on your players and things like that. I do have a lot of respect for him (Cuadrat). I think you have to respect the work he’s done here. There’s no doubt about that. And so I have a respect for all opponents and coaches. I always have. That doesn’t mean there’s no burning desire to win at all times.”

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