The story so far…
Jamshedpur FC will be dreaming of scoring for the first time in this season’s ISL against a Delhi side who need a win themselves to stop their slump in form since their fine opening day win.
Both sides have three points heading into this match – Delhi claiming theirs from one win and two defeats and Jamshedpur from three successive 0-0 draws.
What the coaches said…
Miguel Angel Portugal has called upon his Delhi side to recapture the style that saw them win against FC Pune City on the opening matchday.
“I like to see the philosophy we displayed at Pune in our opening match. That is the psychology and mentality I want to see from my players,” said Portugal.
Portugal was also quizzed around the topic of pollution in the capital city and he responded with,
“The pollution is a problem. But it is not only a problem for the players and me. It is a problem for the people of Delhi. In the league we have home matches and away matches. This is our home so we have to play here. We have been training with masks so it is fine. What I do not understand is why the people are not wearing this mask as they need it”.
He also made it clear that he would have no problem with any of his players wearing a mask in the match if they wanted to.
Lallianzuala Chhangte, electric in the opening day win, could well be back in the starting line-up having been rested in the previous game.
“It is possible. We play so many matches in a short space of time so we need to make full use of the squad. So yeah, Chhangte could start against Jamshedpur”.
Portugal is fully aware what a challenge Jamshedpur pose.
“Their defence is very good. That is their philosophy and I admire it. I have my own philosophy and that is what it is. He (Steve Coppell) does not like to concede a goal while I like to score a goal more. It is a confrontation of philosophies and that it what the competition is all about. To see what is the best philosophy”.
Whereas many people are seeing three 0-0 draws in a row as a negative thing, Jamshedpur FC Head Coach Steve Coppell has a different view.
“We have delivered! How can you say three 0-0 draw has not delivered? A brand new team which has never played in the ISL before, two away matches against the NorthEast and Kerala Blasters and you say we have not delivered with the 0-0 draws,” Coppell said.
Coppell is very much sticking to the “we are the new boys in town narrative”, adding
“Obviously we would love to score. We do not enter the field of play trying not to score. We are playing against good quality sides who have much higher ISL football experience than we have”.
The ex-England international isn’t planning wholesale changes in an effort to score the first goal of their ISL season.
“I do not think like that. Before every match, I pick the team I think is capable of delivering the victory for us. Delhi are a very good side, they play a lovely football. They attack you and they give you a chance to attack them. I am really looking forward to it”.
Coppell was understandably quizzed on the topic of pollution.
“It is like déjà vu for me really. Last year when I came here with the Kerala Blasters around Diwali, the particulate matter in the air was around 500. I think it is somewhere around 300 this time,” he said.
“There was a lot of commentary about the topic last time and one year later, nothing has been done about it. I had suggested that Delhi should not be hosting matches around this time last year. It is something for the health officials to see and do something about. If you ask me honestly if I would like to play in such conditions, I would say no!”
The match itself…
Delhi will be concerned about conceding seven goals in their opening three games whilst Jamshedpur FC must see this as an opportunity to finally break their goalscoring duck.
Mistakes have been the main cause for Delhi conceding so freely, but they can take heart from the fact that their attacking play still looks threatening and if it was not for some fine goalkeeping in both their defeats then the results could have been different.
Steve Coppell will have fewer worries about his well-drilled defence and will be more concerned whether today is the day that Izu Azuka and Kervens Belfort shine.