Both teams enter this clash on the back of identical wins in their previous match.
After an unexpected draw against SC East Bengal in their season opener, Jamshedpur FC bounced back with a complete performance in a 3-1 win over FC Goa. Owen Coyle’s side produced a terrific display in the second half against SC East Bengal in the draw, but could not get the result they desired. However, that did not derail their hopes. Jamshedpur FC built on that performance and swept Goa off with a scintillating display.
Nerijus Valskis scored a brace, while Jordan Murray came off the bench and scored a late goal to complete the win. Coyle, who is in his second term with the Men of Steel is delighted with the result. “Everything we did worked out really well,” the Scottish tactician said at the pre-match press conference. However, that is now of the past and Coyle is focused on the game ahead against Hyderabad FC.
Similar to the Men of Steel, Hyderabad FC also recovered from a disappointing opening game result with a memorable win over Mumbai City FC. Manolo Marquez’s side came back from a goal down to beat the defending champions. Coyle is appreciative of Hyderabad’s style and mentioned that the Nizams will get respect from Jamshedpur. However, he also asserted that his side will not compromise on their ambition to win every game.
Thoughts on win against FC Goa
Jamshedpur’s win over FC Goa was their first since 2019 and first in four meetings. Coyle lauded his boys for a complete team performance. “We were amazing against FC Goa, who are a wonderful side. If we want to win many games, then we have to defend well. Equally, you need to be positive in attack as we were,” he began.
Despite the win, Owen Coyle sent a warning to his side, “the game is over and behind us now. We have to focus on what’s ahead of us which is a real tough game against Hyderabad FC, who are a wonderful side with an outstanding coach.”
Both of their meetings against Hyderabad FC, which Coyle termed as difficult games, ended in draws last season. However, the tactician stated his side wants to perform better in this campaign and is looking to pick up a win.
“We want to do better and grab the three points,” he said. “They (Hyderabad) will also aim for the same as well. I think it will be a very good game with two positive teams,” he added.
Countering Hyderabad FC’s playing style
Since Marquez’s arrival at Hyderabad FC last season, the club have moved to a more direct style using pace on the flanks and good creative midfielders. They overload the flanks with full-backs, allowing the wingers to move inside while the full-backs deliver crosses. Their relentless runs on the channels have played a major role in building the success.
Coyle is also impressed with the ‘pleasing to the eye’ football the Nizams play. “The way they play from midfield to the attacking third, with the full-backs looking to join in,” the 55-year-old explained.
“I won’t say they play the same way as FC Goa do. They give you different type of problems. In my view, they do have some really good attacking threats and we will be very respectful of that. However, we have to equally make sure that we are imposing ourself game in the game to bring out our best qualities. If we manage to do that, we will cause problems for the opposition as well,” he stated.
Both Hyderabad FC and Jamshedpur FC enter this clash on the back of identical results in their previous game. While Jamshedpur crushed FC Goa, Hyderabad beat reigning champions Mumbai City FC with the same scoreline, a day later. Speaking about Hyderabad’s disappointing result against Chennaiyin in their opening fixture, Owen Coyle was quick to contradict saying, “people analyse games on results.”
“Hyderabad played really well in their first game. People analyse games on the results. But football specialists know that Hyderabad FC were the better team against Chennaiyin FC. Any other day, they would have won the game,” he pointed out.
“We were the better team against SC East Bengal, we could have won the three points. So, I think it is unfair to say that it was a disappointing performance. I can understand that people want to see more points, but that is different from saying it was a disappointing performance, they are totally two different things,” Coyle explained.
He also added that both teams complement each other’s styles. “These are two very attack-minded teams. Both teams have already shown they can win games in the league. We are ready for their threats because at times they will pass the ball up and put pressure. We need to make sure we are focused on doing our job. When we get the opportunity to score, we have to take care of those chances, be offensively attack-minded and positive throughout the game,” said Coyle.
Playing attacking brand of football
With the abundance of attacking talents at his disposal, Owen Coyle has adopted a more attacking brand of football. “Yes, we are trying to add that attacking edge to our gameplay,” he said.
“But, at the same time, not being dismissive of the job we need to do against the ball. So as most things are in football, we need to find the right balance between attack and defence,” he added.
One of the factors that have allowed for this is the number of options available to him.
“We were limited last year in respect to the kind of changes we wanted to make for which we lacked the firepower,” Coyle recalled. “However, now we do have very good options. Hopefully, they will stay fit and they keep giving us the selection headaches and that’s what you want as a head coach as they are all wonderful players in their own right. There is true competition for places in the forward positions and by the performances they have shown, it is obvious that they want to be in the team and that is great for a head coach,” he continued.
Alex Lima’s performance
Owen Coyle revealed Lima played through injury last year. “He took painkiller injections last year to play, showing the size of a heart he has for the team,” he revealed.
“Lima can play in various positions. He is wonderful on the ball, can tackle well and works hard against the ball. He is just a perfect all-round modern-day midfielder. Lima can score a goal when we need him, tackle to win balls and can pass really well which shows that he is a wonderful player,” the 55-year-old added.