Football ISL: Odds are even as Jamshedpur take on Kerala Blasters
Kibu VicunaArjun Singh/ISL

Football ISL: Odds are even as Jamshedpur take on Kerala Blasters

Vasco da Gama (Goa), January 9, 2021

The odds are even as Jamshedpur face Kerala Blasters in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium here on Sunday.

Jamshedpur are placed fifth on the Hero ISL table with 13 points after nine games and a victory against Kerala could push them to third spot. They have lost just two matches — the second-lowest tally in the league.

No doubt, the 1-0 victory over playoff contenders Bengaluru would have boosted their morale. But one thing that coach Owen Coyle wants is that his side doesn't get carried away at this stage of the season.

"When you win, the morale is always high but equally (after) the loss we suffered against Goa...we picked each other up and worked very hard to get a smile on our faces and go again, which we did against Bengaluru," he said. "That's certainly the quality we have at this club. We never get too high when we win or low when we lose. We look for the balance, understanding and (ways) to improve."

Jamshedpur will certainly fancy the three points against a struggling Kerala, who come into this game after a demoralizing defeat to Odisha. The results may have not gone Kerala's way but Coyle has been watching his opponents closely.

"If you look at Kerala's games, they have been very unlucky. The other night, they lost 4-2 (to Odisha) but Kerala could have easily scored 5-6 goals," Coyle stated. "When teams have had disappointments this way, they can be very dangerous, so we have to make sure we're ready for that."

For Kerala, it will be a chance to restore pride with coach Kibu Vicuna believing his side are still in contention for the playoffs. Vicuna found success at Bagan with an attacking and possession-based brand of football, but has found it tough to get results with an injury-marred Kerala side, who have claimed just one win. However, the Spaniard refused to attribute Blasters' poor results to his style.

"It is not a question of style," Vicuna said. "The team (I had at Mohun Bagan) is different, the players are different. We started well this season and now we are making changes, we are not playing the same as we did at the beginning. It is not a question of being stubborn with the style, because we are changing things every game, we are approaching every match differently since we are playing different teams. We are focusing on our game as well as the style of our opponents."

NNN

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