Jamshedpur FC still suffering from last season's hangover: Aidy Boothroyd

Jamshedpur FC head coach Aidy Boothroyd believes that the team still can be successful this season and go on a positive upward curve as the Red Miners take on Bengaluru FC at Sree Kanteerva Stadium in Bengaluru in the latest fixture in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 on Saturday.

Jamshedpur FC will look to break the winless streak as they sit in the penultimate spot in the points table with the Red Miners searching for their second victory of the season. The Englishman also expressed his views about Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson and said his teams are well organised, and are always a threat on set-pieces.

Boothroyd, who attended the pre-match conference alongside defender Pratik Chaudhari, mentioned that the team is still recovering from last season’s achievements and it’s not easy to replicate the same form. He further said the addition of Rafael Crivellero and the return of Eli Sabia from the injury has helped the team, the team is looking motivated in the training and everyone is focused on turning their fortunes around.

Here are the excerpts from Boothroyd’s press conference:  

You've managed a lot of big teams in England (Academy staff - Sheffield United, Manager - Northampton Manager- England U19 &20) and a lot of youth setups over there. How does it feel to come to India and manage a team like Jamshedpur FC?

Boothroyd: It's brilliant, I love India. I love the people and the support that I've got. It's just been a brilliant place to live, a brilliant place to work and as you say, I've done a lot of other stuff. This was brand new and I want to stay here as long as I can, I really enjoy it.

You have known Simon Grayson for a long time. What is it about his teams that you've not seen in India otherwise, the way he set up his team and more?

Boothroyd: Very organised. His teams are aggressive. His teams are good in set plays and his teams can play a little bit as well. So over the years, we've locked horns a couple of times, but he's a good guy, we both are from the same area. So I guess for both of us it's a new venture.

What's the news on your defender Peter Hartley?

Boothroyd: Peter is of course still with the team. He got a red card in the last game so right now he's suspended from the next game.

Does Peter Hartley's absence change things for the team?

Boothroyd: It does. I think that at this stage of the season, it's about the right time for me to sort of say what I found really at Jamshedpur FC, which is as I've said a brilliant Club. Well run, well-organized, really good people but I think there's a hangover from last season. Maybe there's a hangover here from the Durand Cup. It's very difficult to win after winning.

And I think for our players, people talk about us winning the championship a lot last year, but that's last year. Most important now is this year, new players, to grow another team and that's what our job as coaches is really to get the teams in cycles. They're either at the top or they're going down and now I think we've just turned the corner and just starting to go up again.

And with that comes the added excitement, if you like the pressure, that we're up against it for something that we did last year, then really we've all got to focus on what we're going to do this season, in the coming seasons.

So I'm quite relaxed about that because I've been there and sort of done that before. And I'd like teams on the crest of a wave and as teams on the crest of a slump, but we're coming out of it. And we've got some big games coming up. This is the most important game of the season for us. And because we want to stay with the pack and we still think we can be successful this season.

Any injury update on the team?

Boothroyd: No thankfully, we started to get players back, which is what we've needed. So we keep our fingers crossed, our players can get through with a really big lift as a team and as a club. Rafael (Crivellaro) joined us and I'm very impressed with him in training. He's been excellent, Eli Sabia coming back, it's huge. These players in key positions are what we are going to focus on and maintain our season from now on a positive, upward curve.

Here are the excerpts from Chaudhari's conference:

Pratik you're up against the team for whom you've played before. Does that add extra motivation for you to perform?

Chaudhari: It's good to be coming here and playing against my former team. I am motivated and hungry as well, also considering the games that you've not been winning so now it adds more motivation for me that we have to go there tomorrow and try and get the three points.

You've obviously played in training with a number of these players over the last couple of years (Bengaluru FC). Have you talked to your teammates about the opponents in the run-up to this game?

Chaudhari: No, as a team I haven't been speaking individually like that but yes, I've been talking as a team as to how BFC plays now. Obviously, even BFC has a lot of new players and they have a pretty good squad. So we are working on it as a team and focused on the match as a team.

How does it feel to play in front of the famous West Block Blues? You've come back home with different colours, how does it feel?

Chaudhari: Yes, I missed that. That's one thing I had wished for when I was at BFC was to play in front of the West Block Blues but now it's different a different team. This is my team now, Jamshedpur FC. I'm really focused on playing tomorrow and trying to get the best result for the team.

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