The early evening match will be decider for the 4th and the final playoff spot on offer in the league.
Jamshedpur FC host FC Goa at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 on Sunday. In a winner-takes-all contest, Jamshedpur know that nothing less than a win will secure a semi-final spot for them as they go up against the side that has scored maximum goals this season. However, the hosts have the best defence in the league and speaking to the media during the pre-match press conference was their head coach Steve Coppell.
The Englishman underlined that he was rather happy with the scenario they were in. “It’s a crucial match; a do or die battle,” Coppell stated. “In a strange sort of way, I am happy that we have to win the game to get through because that brings no doubt in our mind. I think if we had been able to qualify with a draw then all of a sudden you are a little bit mixed up. And I don’t think that really suits us. So, there is only one way we can hope to play for in the course of 90 minutes, and that is we got to win the game to qualify for the semi-finals.”
Regarding his team being not very fluent in attack, Coppell said, “That (attacking efficiency) has been the one thing we have needed probably whole season. You know you need more potential, more fire-power in front of goal and I am not criticizing any forwards, it’s everybody. It’s a team responsibility to create chances and score goals so that is something that we will have to try and correct tomorrow if we’re going to play a fair game in this competition.”
The former Manchester United winger further went on to explain how his team planned to tackle the problem. “We haven’t scored enough from the corners and we haven’t scored enough from free-kick deliveries,” Coppell inferred. “You know again we’ll be under the challenge tomorrow, we have been working hard on corners, we have been working hard on our free kicks and we hope we can get returns. But there is no guarantee for goals.”
Regarding their opponents, “FC Goa are probably the most attractive team going forward in the league. They have some terrific players, they are a team made to go forward.” Coppell said before highlighting what he planned to implement in the encounter. “The criticism I suppose about FC Goa would be about their defence. So, it’s fairly defined what we have to do tomorrow. We have to stop the goal-scorers, we have to defend very well, and then we also have to put their defence under pressure.”
Meanwhile, FC Goa head coach Sergio Lobera mentioned his team’s approach to the game. “We’ll try and do our very best possible,” he said. “We are playing now as a good team and we will go out there and try to win the match. After that, there will be qualifiers and semi-finals, but we have to try and finish in fourth place.”
However, he was wary of the strength Jamshedpur possessed, “Travelling to Jamshedpur is not an easy one and I think they are a defensively strong team and definitely a team to watch out for.”