The Men of Steel are currently sitting in seventh position in the table with 16 points.
Jamshedpur FC have been going through a rough patch in the Indian Super League lately, as they have won just one of their last five matches. However, head coach Antonio Iriondo is positive about his team’s ability before a crucial game against Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday.
Antonio Iriondo and defender Karan Amin addressed the media ahead of the match. Jamshedpur’s tactician spoke on many issues including the injuries to his key players during the season.
Jamshedpur have scored only six goals in their last three matches, with three of those coming against Kerala Blasters. The Men of Steel missed Sergio Castel for a few matches during the season, while Tiri and Piti are still out of action due to injury. Antonio Iriondo remarked, “Obviously we have been missing some very important players like Sergio Castel and Piti. If you take a look at our last match against Goa, our opponent played against us without Coro (Ferran Coromins), just one foreign player and they struggled to score.”
The coach added, “They created chances, but they weren’t able to score. So, they are close to the top of the league and they struggled in that match due to missing just one player. In that sense, you can imagine our situation because we are missing all our most quality players.”
“If you take a look at the beginning of the season, we had all our players, we were winning and we were close to the top of the league. After mid-season we have been struggling, of course. We never give up, but we are missing those players.”
Despite the injuries, Antonio Iriondo pointed out some positive things they have found during the current season. He said, “There is something positive though, Due to injuries some of our young Indian players are also getting more opportunities and they are growing with the more playing time. So, we are one of the teams who has fielded the most Indians.”
On Mumbai City FC
Iriondo was asked about Mumbai’s playing style and his assessment of the team. The Spaniard stated, “They (Mumbai) have a good balance between Indian and foreign players. They will be without a good foreign player. But, they have good replacements. Hopefully, it will be a great match. They are a compact team and if there are gaps we will try to find those.”
“We are trying to find a way to win the match. It will depend on how our young players will improve because we need to use them. Experience is not about time, it’s about intelligence and bravery. You have to be brave enough to go out and do what you have to do. A lot of our players have played in many matches. So, hopefully, we will have an experienced team on the pitch tomorrow and we will win the match.”
Jamshedpur bought David Grande in the recently concluded winter transfer window to strengthen their attack. The coach was quizzed whether he will put out both Grande and Castel on the pitch tomorrow.
He said, “Barcelona has Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi and they play all of them. So, we have to try to put all the good players at the same time on the pitch. The thing with David is when he came he trained only one day with us and after that, he fell ill and spent five days on the bed. He played against Chennai with fever, but now he is fit and he is getting better. He feels really good at the moment So, hopefully, he is going to play tomorrow.”
Karan Amin on returning to Mumbai
Defender Karan Amin is coming back to his hometown with Jamshedpur and admitted that it is an emotional moment for him. Amin remarked, “It like the best feeling ever. Because I have grown up in the city, played all my football here and then I moved out. Now, I am back in the city. So, it’s always special. Even last year, the first game was here. We won 0-2 against Mumbai and that was my debut. So, I hope we will win here again.”
Tiri and Piti are injured, while defender Jitendra Singh will be out of action, as he received a red card in the last game against ATK.
Paul, Gahlot, Lourenco, Memo, Jairu, Monroy, Kiyam, Acosta, Farukh, Castel, Grande.
Jamshedpur FC and Mumbai City FC have faced each other in five matches so far with the former emerging victorious in three games whilst the Islanders have won only once. A sole match has concluded in a draw.
The game will commence from 7:30 PM IST on Thursday evening. It will be telecast live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD. It will also be available to stream on Hotstar and Jio TV.