The Steel City witnessed a tight game settled by just one goal.
Playing their second home match at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur FC succumbed to their first defeat of Indian Super League (ISL) at the hands of FC Pune City on Sunday courtesy of an Adil Khan winner in the 30th minute. It was also the first time the league debutants had conceded. Speaking to the media during the post-match press conference was their head coach Steve Coppell, and he started off by voicing his disappointment after not getting anything out of the game.
“In terms of what I ask the players to do, they committed a 100% and I couldn’t ask for anything more,” the Englishman said. “They (the players) gave everything to win the game, and that’s what we do; we try and win games. We worked very hard, and I think we deserved at least something from the game, but that’s football. It can be cruel sometimes.”
He pointed out the key areas of improvement for his team. “In football, all you can do is create chances to win the game, and we didn’t,” Coppell admitted. “So, I’m sure people will say to me what I’m I going to do about it. We will continue to practise and work hard and we will work on our strikers’ finishing. The essence of football is scoring goals. At the moment we are short, we have to work harder that when we get our next opportunity, we score.”
He also refused to blame the defence for the goal. “I don’t think our defense was weak,” he stated. “They had three shots and they scored from one when they had a set-piece. It was a questionable set-piece in the first place. Marcelinho was brilliant to win it. After five games we’ve conceded one goal, I can’t see our defence being weak!”
Jamshedpur’s head coach wrapped up by revealing that Sameehg Doutie, who has been a major miss in the last few matches, will be back. “He (Doutie) has got a few personal things to sort out and he’ll be back with us this week,” Coppell concluded.
FC Pune City bounced back from their setback last week by inflicting a first defeat on league debutants Jamshedpur FC. Adil Khan’s winner ensured the Stallions won their third fixture in ISL, while Subrata Paul and Jamshedpur conceded for the first time. Speaking to the media during the post-match press conference was the victorious head coach, Ranko Popovic.
He began by admitting it was a hard-fought win while assessing the game. “It was a tough game; they had not conceded a goal before this game,” he stated. “Last game, we lost because of set-pieces. This game we won because of set pieces. I’m satisfied with what we are trying; we tried to put the ball down with some 3-4 passes and we were defending well. Jamshedpur were playing well; they were attacking. The atmosphere was good, they pushed us to the very end, last few minutes our keeper saved really well.”
With the win, Pune are now in the top half of the table and Popovic was particularly pleased regarding that. “We want to be on top of the table,” he said. “We sometimes put pressure because we want to stay on top. We will try to make ourselves more compact. We want to play good football, because the people deserve it.”
Before signing off, he also lauded the league and the passion on show. “I appreciate the people who come with such passion,” he said. “This league is young. You get everything here with such a fantastic audience and a fantastic ambience. It (the atmosphere) was very good and very positive. I hope one day something like this can be seen in Pune with 10,000 supporters or maybe more backing us.”