Antonio Iriondo focused on own team ahead of ‘tough test’ against Bengaluru

Jamshedpur FC will be eyeing their third win on a trot in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 when they host reigning champions Bengaluru FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Sunday. The home team will be confident going into the match, having won both their fixtures so far, while Bengaluru, till now, have two draws from their two outings.

Despite the difference in their points tally so far this season, Jamshedpur head coach Antonio Iriondo, at the pre-match press conference, opined that the test against the defending champions may just be the toughest one for his team yet. “It’s true that it will be a big test. There are no easy matches. Since they are the defending champions, it’s always the big test. From the matches we have seen of them, they are a good team. If you see the table and see they have two points, you can make the mistake of thinking that they are not playing well. But we saw on TV that they are doing great. It’s going to be a big test of us and we’ll see how we respond,” he said.

“The important thing is to focus on your team and strategies. What we have been doing is to focus on our own team, our strengths and weaknesses, and preparing as well as we can for the match. Our way of playing is very important for us and we are working on that new way of playing. The players need to use their minds and play with feelings. Hopefully the intensity and passion will go together,” he added.

Asked if playing in front of their home fans has been a big boost for the team till now, the Spaniard opined, “The will of the fans always helps the team. A team is what the fans want it to be and we have seen it a lot in Europe that teams with a lot of fans get a lot of energy from them. We are very happy with the support we are getting and we hope we can give back to them the passion and football they want on the pitch.”

Giving an injury update ahead of the crucial tie, the Spaniard revealed, “We don’t have any serious injuries. A couple of players have knocks, including Noe Acosta and Agustin Fernandes. But we hope they will be ready for the match. We hope that everyone is available.”

Striker Farukh Choudhary, who has been in a rich vein of form so far this season, was also at the briefing. Quizzed about his stellar performances so far, the young striker stated, “The coach sees in the training who are working hard and according to that he fields his starting XI. Our job is to work hard for the 90 minutes on the pitch and give our best. Everyone is trying to prove that they deserve a place in the starting XI.”

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