'We have to score one goal more than Mumbai City FC, that's all', Antonio Iriondo jovially chirps away ahead of Thursday's clash | ISL 2019-20
At the start of the season, Jamshedpur FC represented a side that was firing on all cylinders. However, after a bright opening, the Red Miners have fizzled away rather spectacularly to find themselves staring at elimination again.
Through that period, Jamshedpur’s propensity to not make the net bulge regularly has come under the scanner. In fact, they’ve scored only 6 goals in their last 6 matches, with 3 of those coming against the Kerala Blasters, who were playing with ten men.
Additionally, the Red Miners have enjoyed an awful lot of possession in all but 3 matches, although that hasn’t reflected adequately on their goal and victory tally.
When quizzed on the above aspects, Antonio Iriondo stated,
We have been having the ball but we like to have the ball to create chances. We have created openings also but haven’t been able to score and convert those chances. We are not just working on having the ball but rather on creating chances. And, we have to trust that if we keep doing that, we will have more opportunities to score.
Unsurprisingly, the Red Miners’ barren run coincided with the injury Sergio Castel suffered against NorthEast United on the 2nd of December. Since then, numerous other niggles have meant that they’ve not rediscovered their early-season groove.
Obviously we are missing important players. If you take the example of our match against FC Goa at Fatorda, they were missing Coro, just one foreign player. That changed the game and they weren’t able to finish off chances. We have special players like Castel, Piti and Tiri and they bring that something special to the table. And, even though we have Castel back, he isn’t fully fit.
In order to offset the loss of Castel, the Red Miners had brought David Grande on board in the winter transfer window. However, the latter has found playing time hard to come by and has struggled to create the requisite impact.
We signed David but he arrived just a day before the match against Bengaluru. In fact, he didn’t even know each of his teammates’ names because he didn’t have the time. Then, he had a bout of illness and was out for a few days. Now, he is getting back to fitness and hopefully, he can play a part tomorrow.
Subsequently, Iriondo also mentioned that the prospect of Castel and Grande lining up together wasn’t as far-fetched, wherein the Spaniard drew parallels to how most of the star-studded outfits find a way to include their best players.
Additionally, Iriondo talked about how his youngsters had stood up to the occasion and had given exceptionally good accounts of themselves. Furthermore, he quipped that he hoped the players would continue growing while he said that he expected them to have a bright future.
Thus, despite the predicament, Jamshedpur find themselves in, Iriondo seemed aware enough to chirp away openly about issues that seems perilously close to become their undoing.
Yet, with a game against Mumbai City FC on Thursday, the Spaniard might hope that his team comes through unscathed, especially with the top four peak becoming steeper by the minute. And, when questioned about how he managed to tackle the Islanders’ the Spaniard rather jovially replied,
Well, we have to score one more goal than them. That’s all.
It seems pretty simple on paper but at this juncture, it remains anyone’s guess whether the Red Miners can indeed take down Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena.Published 05 Feb 2020, 17:58 IST