The Spaniard explained how his team overcame a strong opposition in FC Goa in their previous game.
Jamshedpur FC will play host to an unbeaten NorthEast United side in an important clash on Monday. Under Antonio Iriondo, the Men of Steel are currently placed third, while the Highlanders stand fourth in the table, with the two teams separated by a solitary point.
Goa had however, dominated possession in the previous game and continued to do so even after conceding. Addressing this issue, Antonio Iriondo said, “Sometimes, it’s difficult when you play against a team that has been working together for three years. They pretty much have the same squad for the past three years and they have the same philosophy that we have. So, it takes time for us to do the things we want to do. We’re striving to dominate more possession.
“It does not mean that I’m not happy with the performance of the team. Possession is not the objective, our primary objective is to win and score as many goals as possible. Sometimes, when you are not able to use possession to achieve that, you can use other options in a football match like counter-attack. Sometimes, we are more dangerous this way and I’m pretty happy with my team.”
Jamshedpur’s defence has been guilty of looking weaker in the second half of games. While that has not proven to be a major headache for the side so far, it is obviously an issue Antonio Iriondo and his assistants would like to address on the training ground, if they want to push for a serious title challenge.
“I think there is a defending problem in second halves. I think it’s not only happening to us, it is happening to the other teams as well. The way the matches are going, the defence has to undergo a lot of punishment. For us, in Goa, you know, when you’re winning 0-1, sometimes players feel that the best way is to peg back, try to defend and hit the opponent on the counter. I love that we are able to play in the same way, if we’re winning by five goals or one goal, but we have this habit of going and pressing opponents.”
“It’s something that we have to work on, especially with the mentality of the players. As I was saying, it’s not only us, it’s happening in the rest of the league too,” he went on to add.
“You can see that in every match, that the team that is winning tends to push back, the other team presses a lot. You can see the last three matches, so much happens in the last three minutes of the game. I think it’s part of the mentality of the players and we need to work on it.”
There is a lot of buzz surrounding the introduction of VAR in the Indian Super League. When asked to comment on the same, the Spaniard replied, “It will be a great deal, it’s a great news to hear. I think that it is very important to give the referees something to use. It is very important, we are professionals and they should have all the help they can have.”
“The league will also attain more prestige. We have seen in Europe, all the countries that have VAR, that it is very helpful and here it will also help the referees to improve and correct their mistakes. I think it is a great idea,” concluded Antonio Iriondo.