Coppell basks in Jamshedpur homecoming, Sheringham looks for positive reaction
Both managers were full of praise for the facilities at the city's JRD Tata Sports Complex.
Ahead of the historic first ever Indian Super League (ISL) match at Jamshedpur, home team coach Steve Coppell spoke about his team’s run in the tournament so far and hoped for a good showing in their first home assignment, “When the fixtures came out and we had the first two away games, in a way that was good, that gave everyone a little bit of time to get ready here. I am sure you all appreciate that in a short span of time, an awful lot has been done, not only to the stadium but also to the facilities provided to the players."
Reflecting on the Men of Steel's start to the season the Englishman said, " I think everyone within this league would appreciate that starting with two away games is always going to be a difficult task. So, two difficult games and we have come away with two points, we haven’t scored but we haven’t conceded too. Psychologically, drawing two makes you feel a little bit better. Now, the responsibility is on us, as the home team to try and get the three points. I hope it will be a very very special day for the people of Jamshedpur.”
The JRD Tata Sports Complex is set to host its first ever competitive game as Indian football gets a new footprint in the east of the country. Speaking on the same Coppel said, “It has been around two months since we first got together in Jamshedpur for the first time and we have been away more (pre-season) than we have been here. So, we've still got to get a real identity with the town and the team has to get a real identity within the league with their performances and to develop into a team worthy of the town and worthy of playing in the top league in India."
Watch: Kerala Blasters 0-0 Jamshedpur FC ISL Recap
He continued, "I hope the people coming in for the game would appreciate what a nice time it is to be in here and I also hope it would be a good game for the ones to watch it live as history is happening in this part of the world.”
On being quizzed about any change in strategies, the former Manchester United man said, “Last game I felt we had the best chances within the 90 minutes. There is no change in strategy as such. We will play our way and obviously would look to score goals, but all the teams in the league are good, they are well organised. so it is our job to be competitive and be right there in the mix."
Senior team member Mehtab Hossain also interacted with the media and was buoyant ahead of the team’s first home game. “At the outset, I would like to say every player in our team is honoured to be picked by the Tatas. Also, we are very excited to be playing in front of the people of Jharkhand, who have always been a sports-loving state, as it could be seen from the full stands every cricket match here draws, hopefully, football would also get equal support from the people. We are excited about the first home match, as Jamshedpur FC is going to make history tomorrow.”
He also responded to questions on his team’s inability to score in their previous two games, “See, in away games the priority is always to ensure that you do not concede, only then you think of scoring for yourself. With this strategy we came away from two tricky away trips with two points and come to the end of the season, I am sure these points will prove to be valuable.”
"You have to teach the boys the right way from a young age- Sheringham
About the importance of the game, Sheringham said, “All games are crucial. Each week we play different people. Even more so for us this week after losing 4-1 at home. It was very disappointing last week. You learn to brace yourself up and get yourself ready for the next game [and] that’s what we have done. We have planned again for this fixture. [I know] it’s going to be as difficult as the last but that’s what we have prepared for and look forward to it.”
The ATK boss was impressed with the facilities at the JRD Tata Sports Complex and anticipated a tight encounter on Friday evening. “We’re here [in Jamshedpur] for the first time and haven’t seen a lot of the city; lovely facilities in the training ground. Good to see the young lads train here. We are looking forward to playing in the stadium. Its going to be a big fixture for the home team [and for us as well]. Should be a competitive game.”
Watch: ATK 1-4 FC Pune City ISL Recap
The former Manchester United player also emphasized the importance of developing more academy structures in India similar to the Tata Football Academy to groom young talents. He said, “If you want football to grow in India, you have to have these academies. You have to teach the boys the right way from a young age, You can’t just expect them to play at 16 and be very good at 19,20 or say 21."
He continued, "All across the world, all across Europe, we play from a very young age. Its getting even younger in England now. Its doing good for Engish football. I have seen the England Under 17s, 19s, 20s, 21s. All doing very good at the moment and that’s because they have got a good platform for the last 10-12 years. If you want to get better that’s what you need to do."
On being asked about formulating any new strategy, especially after conceding too may goals on counter-attacks in the last match Sheringham said, “It’s something that we looked at obviously. Very disappointed with loss 4-1 at our home pitch. We wanted to dictate play obviously. But goals make a lot of difference in football matches. We were dictating play before the first goal. We went a goal behind. We have addressed our faults from that game. Hopefully, we will improve and achieve what we are looking to do.”
Published: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:58 PM IST