Jamshedpur, Kerala look to swing back to winning ways

Jamshedpur FC and Kerala Blasters are yet to lose a game in ISL 2018 but have just a win to show for their efforts.

Tim Cahill (C) has struggled to attain full match fitness so far.   -  ISL MEDIA

A winning start followed by successive draws binds the two opponents – Jamshedpur FC (JFC) and Kerala Blasters FC (KBFC) – who square up in an Indian Super League fixture here at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Monday. Both the sides have managed to remain unbeaten so far but the stalemates, however, haven't brought much cheer for either teams.

The home side Jamshedpur has drawn the last three games after winning the opener against Mumbai city FC while visiting the latter. The Blasters has drawn its last two matches after winning its first outing ‘away’ against ATK.

Jamshedpur FC, shaping up under new Spanish coach Cesar Ferrando, has impressed with its possession-based passing football but faltered in the scoring zone despite its creative display. “Every match we play is like a final because the sides are quite evenly matched,” said Ferrando looking back at his team's performance so far.

“In most of the international leagues a team plays between 38 and 42 matches. But in ISL a team has only 18 matches giving the sides little scope to recover. So, getting points from every match becomes important,” the JCF head coach added.

Ferrando looked for the first win at home (the previous match being a 1-1 draw against the ATK) to consolidate his theory and find a way to the top half of the standings. “Cahill is playing at 70 to 80 percent of his ability and it is important for him and the side to regain fitness,” Ferrando hoped his key attacker Tim Cahill regained his full fitness quickly to make the attack more effective. Another name in the injury list is young TFA graduate Mobashir Rahaman, who is still nursing a injured ligament.

For the KBFC head coach David James “the league position seems precarious a bit”, after his team dropped to seventh position despite having not lost a match. James said the previous two draws at home were bit “frustrating” as the opponents got away with freaky goals. “That is how football is played and we have to get back together as a team and get some positive results. We are gelling well as a team and are quite competitive,” James said. The Englishman who generally has used more Indians in the side sounded more upbeat for having E. Anas, who will be available for selection after having sat out the first three matches owing to suspension.