Jamshedpur, Oct 20 (PTI) Jamshedpur FC would look to turn around their fortunes at home when they host a refreshed ATK, managed by their former coach Steve Coppell, in an Indian Super League match here on Sunday.
The Men of Steel, under Coppell, managed a mere three wins at home from nine matches last season and just missed out on a play-off spot.
“It’s great to be back. I am very proud of what we did last year, even though we did not make the play-offs. It was a great achievement for a new franchise and I look forward to the game tomorrow,” Coppell said at the pre-match media conference.
Current boss Cesar Ferrando’s team has impressed in their first two matches of the season, both away from home. They defeated Mumbai City 2-0 and then followed it up with an exciting 2-2 stalemate against Bengaluru FC.
“ATK are a good a team. Their team has improved from the first match and they have a good coach. The ATK game, for me, is the most important match of the season. We will try our best. We need to play like a team and I am sure we can win tomorrow,” Ferrando said.
“Steve (Coppell) did a good job when he was here. He knows a lot of the players. I hope we play well in front of him,” he added.
Jamshedpur’s new additions have all clicked so far. Mario Arques already looked to be one of the signings of the season while the familiar face of Memo has offered him unconditional support in midfield. Sergio Cidoncha and Pablo Morgado have hit the ground running as well.
In fact, Jamshedpur FC have the most number of individual goal scorers (4) in the ISL this season. They also have the most number of debutants (4) this season to score a goal as well.
Coppell, meanwhile, has got off to a difficult start, as has been the case with his teams in the previous seasons as well. ATK succumbed to defeats in their first two games. But the Kolkata-based club struck back with a 2-1 win against Delhi Dynamos.
Coppell’s teams are usually solid at the back but John Johnson and Gerson Vieira are yet to hit the peak of their form after three games. The win against Delhi Dynamos, however, helped their forwards regain confidence.
Balwant Singh and Noussair El Maimouni got on the scoresheet for ATK in their last outing and Manuel Lanzarote looked to be back to his best. Kalu Uche was also instrumental in linking up attacks upfront.
“Although it has just been two games, they (Jamshedpur) have made a solid start. We will be looking to press forward as well. It is a good challenge for us. We will look to pick up points,” said Coppell.
Tim Cahill’s presence upfront and his impending battle against seasoned campaigner John Johnson may make for interesting viewing. Add Sergio Cidoncha to the mix and ATK defence will have their task cut out.
ATK showed that they were not all about defensive football. Their usage of space during quick counter-attacks will be lethal against Ferrando’s men who will be expected to dominate the proceedings at their home ground.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.