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ISL 2019-20 | Having ball possession is not the objective but a tool asserts Antonio Iriondo

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ISL 2019-20 | Having ball possession is not the objective but a tool asserts Antonio Iriondo

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SportsCafe Desk


Jamshedpur FC's head coach Antonio Iriondo has stated that having the ball possession is just a tool and asserted that the objective is to score goals and win matches. The Spanish coach further analysed Jamshedpur's performance ahead of their home game against an unbeaten NorthEast United.

After ending FC Goa's unbeaten run at their backyard, Jamshedpur FC is back home to face another unbeaten team NorthEast United FC on Monday at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur. The Men of Steel have ten points in five games and are third on the table. Meanwhile, the Highlanders are fifth on the table with nine points. The winning side will move to the top position in the league.

Jamshedpur FC's head coach Antonio Iriondo spoke about Jamshedpur's 1-0 win against a dominating Goa and has stated that having ball possession is not the objective but a tool and asserted that the objective is to score and win matches.

“It’s difficult to play against a team which has had the same squad for almost three seasons, have worked together for a long time. They have the same philosophy as us. It will take time for us to do the things we want our team to do. We struggled to keep possession of the ball against Goa but when you play against strong teams like Goa, you have to find their weakness and play smartly,” Antonio Iriondo told reporters at the prematch conference, ISL website reported.

“Having ball possession is not the objective but a tool. The objective is to score goals and win matches. Sometimes when you can’t keep the ball, you have to play in counter attacks. We had to adjust our way of playing through counter attacks and we were more dangerous. I am happy with the performance and the way we played against Goa,” the veteran Spanish coach further explained.

This season, Jamshedpur struggles with set-pieces and the Spanish coach hopes to score from set-pieces as well. “We are lacking there (converting set pieces) and we are working on that. Hopefully we will keep scoring from open plays and come good with set pieces as well.” 

Jamshedpur, so far this season, attacks well in the first half and in the second half they defend. When the coach was asked about Jamshedpur’s defensive approach in the second half, he responded “I don’t think there’s a problem in defending in the second-half. It’s sometimes about handling the result. That’s not only happening to us but the other teams too. Like, with us against Goa, when you are winning 1-0, players sometimes feel its better to sit back, defend and absorb the pressure. I would love it if we can play the same way irrespective of whether we are winning by five goals or one. But I think we did well against Goa.”

The coach further went on to explain the second-half defensive tactic so far in the league were in the last minutes’ team’s concede goals. “We have to work on the mentality of players. It is not only us, but the rest of the league too. You see the team winning the match tends to sit back and defend while the other team attacks and presses. In the last three matches, teams have scored late and a lot has changed in the final minutes,” he added.

Young midfielder Mobashir Rahman, who attended the press conference with the coach, spoke about the mood in the camp and hoped to get all the three points against NorthEast, “After the loss against ATK, the mood was a little down but the win against FC Goa have brought the confidence back. We are working hard and will try to get the three points against NorthEast.”

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