The League Shield already in pocket, a confident Jamshedpur FC will square off against Kerala Blasters FC in an Indian Super League 2021-22 first leg semi-final at Fatorda Stadium on Friday evening, with eyes riveted on the glittering trophy.
The confidence has surely risen after a record seven back-to-back-wins and it would not be surprising if Kerala becomes the eighth victim, in a crucial tie.
But Jamshedpur head coach Owen Coyle is aware about the strengths of Kerala Blasters but would like to continue with the winning trend.
"Kerala Blasters are a huge challenge in the league and the qualities of the teams in the season is there for everyone to see and the top 4 teams have finished in the spots that they should have while we are the best team in the country which has been determined by the amount of points we have gained, winning streak we've been on and by the club records we've broken in the season as a squad. But when you come in a cup competition, anything can happen on a given day."
"So, on any given day, I feel any team is capable off winning the playoffs. What's been great in the course of the 20 league games is thet we're the best team in the country. But what we want to do in the tournament is to do a double and try to win the trophy which is even tougher now because we're the bigger target as we're the champions and the other teams get a bit of motivation from that. So we have to be at our very best to win the trophy," Owen said.
According to him, they have 5-6 possible injuries with Farukh and Komal already missing. “We had Mobashir suspended but he is available to play now which is great for us as he will bring some freshness into the squad in the midfield. Dinliana had a shoulder injury before half-time in the last match which originated in the previous game. A few others have bumps and bruises lime Greg Stewart who took some kicks and whacks during the last game and Daniel Chima who gets battered from his back in every game and he has very little protection against it," he added.