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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Jamshedpur FC look to ensure play-off berth with win against Hyderabad FC

Plagued with injuries, Owen Coyle's depleted squad ready to fight it out against the Nizams

Jayesh Thaker Jamshedpur Published 28.02.22, 06:35 PM
Jamshedpur FC players sweat it out on the eve of the ISL tie versus Hyderabad FC in Goa  on Monday.

Jamshedpur FC players sweat it out on the eve of the ISL tie versus Hyderabad FC in Goa on Monday. Telegraph picture

Jamshedpur FC, on the verge of securing their maiden Hero Indian Super League play-off berth, would like to continue the current form when they take on table-toppers Hyderabad FC in a tie at GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Tuesday evening.

The Men of Steel have notched up four wins in a row and head coach Owen Coyle would surely like the trend to continue against a strong and in-form Hyderabad FC.

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"Our only focus is on 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 football. We are going to be playing a fantastic opponent, 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 a number of members missing from our usual squad but that has been the case since the start of this season. Farukh Choudhary, arguably the best young Indian player in the country, missed the whole season. Komal Thatal, who was terrific on the pitch but missed out on the second half of the season due to his injury. 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 picking up an injury in the last game. Boris Singh and Jitendra Singh will be unavailable for this game too. Even Jordan (Murray) is still not a 100% match fit," Owen said.

On the changes in the team strategy considering Greg Stewart's suspension in the next game, the head coach said: "We do have options in our team, which is a good thing, and 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. As I said before, Jordan (Murray) 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 and 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 being 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 that terms, we still have big goal-scoring threats which is what we’ll look to bring in a very important game."

On being the coach of a team in top contention of the league, the Scotland-born Owen added they were 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. But all this counts for nothing, we’ve got points but we still need 1 more point to be in the top 4 spot but equally, we want to push as high up the table as we can. How we can do that is by winning these tough games as every game in the Hero ISL. It is a different challenge for many different reasons and this game presents itself as a really tough game as we’re facing a quality side with good players. But they also know that Jamshedpur is a good side by the intensity we play at, the hard work we put in, and the quality that we have. So we have 2 very positively attack-minded teams trying to win a tough game," Owen said.

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