Jamshedpur, Feb 9: Jamshedpur FC will be looking to strengthen their credentials to make it to the playoffs of the 2020/21 Indian Super League (ISL) season when they face Chennaiyin FC at the GMC Stadium on Wednesday.
Jamshedpur are placed seventh on the ISL table on 18 points, five points behind fourth-placed Hyderabad FC. Chennaiyin, meanwhile are placed eighth and trail Jamshedpur by a point.
Jamshedpur are placed a spot above their opponents with just a point separating them.
“They’re a tough team,” said JFC coach Owen Coyle. “They’ve certainly created a lot of chances, but they haven’t been as clinical as what they could be, but we know they are very tough opponents.”
“We can look to the next game as a cup final because we have to get points from that to keep on trying to reduce the deficit. Obviously, the teams that are already there have the advantage. And that’s the only way for us to get there. We have to try and win games to reach that spot if it becomes available.”
Jamshedpur fell to a 2-1 defeat to East Bengal in their last match. They have managed to win just four of the 16 matches they have played thus far, losing six and drawing as many.
Chennaiyin have been hurt by their misfiring attack with the goalless draw against Bengaluru in their last match being the ninth time they have failed to score this season — the most by any team.
Now, they find themselves in desperate need of results if they aspire to reach the playoffs for the second straight time. At this stage, with plenty of other teams also fighting for the playoff spots, nothing less than a win each game will suffice for Chennaiyin.
Their struggles in front of goal have continued to cost them points despite the two-time champions creating plenty of chances. They have now not scored from open play for five games straight.
Chennaiyin now find themselves six points off the top four. The task appears difficult, but it’s still mathematically possible. And Chennaiyin coach Csaba Laszlo has urged his team to keep fighting till the end.
“We still hope and we don’t give up our target of being in the top four. The possibility is there. And tomorrow’s game will not only be important for Jamshedpur but for the other teams as well,” he said.
“We know we are capable of winning games but we need to use our chances better. Even in the offensive part, we need more consistency. To miss so many chances after creating them isn’t normal. But we trust our players and we keep going and try to play our football,” Laszlo said.