Bambolim: Jamshedpur FC and Hyderabad FC will hope to convert the emphatic victories from their respective previous matches into winning runs when they clash at the GMA Athletic Stadium here on
Jamshedpur bounced back strongly in their second match of the campaign against FC Goa after drawing the first one with SC East Bengal. To the delight of coach Owen Coyle, their star players had hit the ground running in the last match.
Nerijus Valskis scored a brace, with both the goals assisted by the side’s recent acquisition Greg Stewart. Later on, Jordan Murray came off the bench and opened his tally.
In a similar fashion, Hyderabad recorded a statement win over the defending champions Mumbai City FC.
The club had lost its first game against Chennaiyin FC but it is all in the past now as Coyle believes Jamshedpur has a better squad depth than last season which put them in a good position against tough opponents as they gear up for their third match.
“We were a good side last year but we wanted to add that attacking edge to our play without being dismissive of our job without the ball. As most things are in football, it’s about getting the right balance. The great thing is we have options this year. We were limited last year. Now we have really good options,” coach Coyle said while addressing the media ahead of the match.
Coyle said, “Lima has been outstanding. He played with an injury last year. The character he showed for the team. He took painkillers to help out the club. Now that he’s fully fit, he is showing what an outstanding player he is. He is wonderful on the ball and works so hard off the ball. He is a perfect modern-day midfield player.”
“I think the important thing was the team performance. Against a team like FC Goa, you have to defend well and be as positive in attack as we were. It’s behind us now. We have to focus on a really tough game against Hyderabad FC. They have wonderful players and an outstanding coach. We drew both the games with them last season. We want to go one better and get those three points. I think it will be a very good game.
“Hyderabad FC’s midfielders and fullbacks play very high. So, they do have attacking threats. We have to equally make sure that we are imposing ourselves on the game. If we bring our qualities to any game then we will cause problems to the opposition. And that’s what we have to do,” the Jamshedpur FC coach added.
On the other, after a narrow loss to Chennaiyin FC in the opening match, Hyderabad FC staged an inspiring comeback to outclass defending champions Mumbai City FC 3-1 in the following game.
Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel Marquez said, “Jamshedpur FC is Owen Coyle’s team and are always tough opponents, for example, we are the same coaches in both teams from the last season and both games last season between the teams ended in a draw. They were very good games, teams playing with different styles.”
“I think that in this season, they have players which I know regarding their style of football. Last season, they played more direct action. This year, especially with Greg Stewart, they play more with the ball. They have a lot of players from last season, so I think more or less, a lot of people say that the team is a clear candidate to fight for the top four.
“You are seeing that there are more good Indian players that are showing that they can compete at the same level, their personality. And, of course, the other day, Rohit Dani scored for our team. But, but for sure that we have more young players that will play in this season, in the upcoming games.
“The point is that we showed that we can beat every team. If you win against the champion, it means that you can win every game. Previously I had told why we cannot beat Mumbai City FC. So, most of the time it is the same concept,” Marquez added.