Jamshedpur and Hyderabad FC hold the top two spots in the league points table.
Hyderabad FC will be locking horns with Jamshedpur FC in what seems to be a fascinating encounter in the Indian Super League. Jamshedpur FC have been absolutely brilliant in their foray. Owen Coyle’s men have played a match less than their opponents and are a point behind them. A win for them in this encounter will elevate them to the top of the table.
Ahead of the encounter, Jamshedpur FC head coach addressed the media and shared his thoughts.
Team’s Approach to Game
Owen Coyle: We are only thinking about facing Hyderabad FC. Like I have said before, we really need to focus on one game at a time because if you look too far ahead then you get punched in the nose in the sport of football. So, we are going to be playing fantastic opponents, an outstanding team with great individual talents, along with a terrific coach. So, we know it’s a tough game and a very competitive one as it always is in all the games.
But equally, we have to make sure we are fresh and ready to try and win a tough game. We have always been tested by a number of injuries and other factors, but the Hyderabad game will be a bit different with Greg (Stewart) being suspended, Peter (Hartley) picking up an injury in the last game and not having Boris (Singh) and Jitendra (Singh), who missed out on the last game. Even Jordan (Murray) has just started to come back on the pitch and is still not a 100% match-fit.
Team’s Position in the Table
Owen Coyle: We are in this position of the league through merit. We have worked ever so hard and where we are at the moment, is because of the points we’ve earned to be there. We’ve got points, but we still need one more point to be in the top four spots, but equally we want to push as high up the table as we can.
Consistent Performances by Young Indian Players
Owen Coyle: As I said before, we always expect the foreign players to deliver very good performances, which is the reason they are brought to the club. But, myself as a coach and my staff take tremendous satisfaction in the performances of the young Indian players who have improved to such a level and the consistency shown in every game through their performances.
Squad Depth & Confidence Boost After Seminlen Doungel’s Goal in Last Game
Owen Coyle: It was great to have Len score a goal on a personal level because he is such a great lad, with everything he has got and that is the reason why we brought him to the club from FC Goa. I have seen the qualities he has and Len himself has been carrying an injury for the last six weeks, but he has such a big heart and desire to play for the team and is always prepared to say that he is ready to play.
I know he’s been playing through the pain barrier and it’s not a serious injury, but he does feel a little pain. There are a number of lads in our team who have done the same in difficult situations and are always prepared to say that they are ready to give everything they have got, which is the kind of team spirit we have got.
Injury Update on Jitendra, Boris & Peter Hartley
Owen Coyle: With Jitendra, I don’t expect him to be playing the next game. Boris did some light work in training, but it’ll be a last-minute decision to have Boris involved in the next game. Peter has not been on the training pitch after coming off injured in the previous game. But, he is such a great player who wants to be involved in the games all the time. So, we have to make sure that there is no damage in terms of the injury, which is very important.
Greg is also suspended and there are also a few others who will be missing. Jordan Murray might play for longer minutes which is good for us, but he is still not at his 100% yet. Although he is getting better on a daily basis and there are others who have some niggles. So, we have a number of players missing, but that has been the case since the whole of the season.
Changes in Team Strategy?
Owen Coyle: We do have options in our team which is a good thing. It’ll be naive on my end to give away our line-up to the opposition, but what we know is that we’ll be very positive. Jordan is coming back to his 100% and just needs some more training sessions. But, he showed his quality and was outstanding in the previous game. We will know when we have a fully-fit Jordan Murray on our side because then he’ll be one of the top strikers of the league.
Daniel Chima has been outstanding ever since he has come into our squad, so it is great to see that. I think Daniel gets unfair treatment because he is such a strong lad, who gets hit in the back very often and is also not awarded a lot of fouls after getting challenged from behind. But, he has a wonderful character, leads the team well and takes the ball up the pitch really well.
We have Ishan Pandita in the same position as well, who can start games and come in to score goals. So, in those terms, we still have big goal threats, which is what we’ll look to bring in a very important game.