Goa, Jan 5 (IANS) Jamshedpur FC will eye a win when they take on unpredictable NorthEast United FC in the Hero Indian Super League match at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, here on Thursday.
Sitting sixth in the points table, Jamshedpur can move back to the top four with a win on Thursday. For NorthEast United, who are 10th in the table with eight points to show for, it is an opportunity to climb up the ladder.
Jamshedpur have looked excellent this season with a collection of some really talented footballers. But in their last few games, the Owen Coyle-coached side looked off the boil managing two points from the last three games. They lost to Chennaiyin FC in their previous encounter, lacking the teeth upfront which they usually have.
Lithuanian striker Nerijus Valskis jumped ship to Chennaiyin FC in the January transfer window but such are the riches of Jamshedpur that they can afford to let go of a forward of his quality. Greg Stewart has been brilliant, to say the least for the Men of Steel, playing a part in 64.3% of Jamshedpur’s goals this season. But that is also a cause of concern for Coyle as his team has been over-reliant on the talismanic Scotsman.
“We’ve had a couple of opportunities that we let slip by. We should have had something from the Chennaiyin game. But Chennaiyin rode their luck and they got their points. That’s the margins in the league. We know we are capable of winning games. We need to be more clinical in front of goal,” Coyle said. Jamshedpur’s defence has remained rock solid despite the blip in form. The club has conceded just one goal from open play in their past four games.
Coming to NorthEast United, they held table-toppers Mumbai City FC to a high-scoring draw in their last match and can draw confidence from the fact that the team has been among goals. Deshorn Brown put his fitness and injury concerns to rest to score a stunning hattrick in the last game and coach Khalid Jamil will hope the Jamaican striker continues delivering the goods.
“We did well in the last match and got a long time to recover. We are playing a good side against Jamshedpur but we have to go for the three points, nothing less. Everybody is ready. We must stay positive and work hard,” said an optimistic Jamil.