Jamshedpur FC will look to continue their push towards the top four of the Hero Indian Super League when they take on NorthEast United FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Saturday. Steve Coppell's side have won their last two home games, against Kerala Blasters and Delhi Dynamos, but they return to their base after three away games where they collected six out of a possible nine points.
Jamshedpur's organised brand of football has seen a surprising and unlikely rise into the playoff spots but they cannot take it easy because their challengers Mumbai City FC and FC Goa have both played fewer games. The only result that could keep Jamshedpur in the hunt is a win — and three points will also put the teams below them under pressure to win their remaining games.
"We hope that we continue the good form at home. But now, each and every game becomes vital. Three points are more significant now. Almost every game these last few weeks have been almost must-win for us. It would be great to win the next game, but if we don't, it's not the end of our ambitions this season," Coppell said.
As for NorthEast United, which has failed to win in their last three games, their head coach Avram Grant conceded that results have not gone their way but the performances have surely seen an upsurge since he took over.
"When you are a footballer you always have to push yourself no matter the situation and that is what we will do tomorrow as well. In the last game (0-1 loss to FC Pune City), the team fought well and you can see the players playing well. There is frustration in what happened in the games before this but we have shown a good mentality to win games, irrespective of the results," said the coach who had a few injury concerns to deal with.
Coppell said that every team will have niggles at this point in the season, but was hoping his side would be 100 per cent fit for the game.
About the Author
Shekhar Dhingra is a sports journalist with 1.5 years of experience, having worked with sports business website "Market4Sports". He resides in New Delhi and is a die-hard sports fan with special affection for cricket and badminton. He desperately waits for weekend to relax his soul by playing cricket.