We could give ATK Mohun Bagan a few problems: Jamshedpur FC head coach Boothroyd

Jamshedpur FC head coach Aidy Boothroyd is expecting a difficult challenge against ATK Mohun Bagan, but stated it won't be an insurmountable task to beat them as his side take on the Mariners in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Thursday.

Jamshedpur FC are currently on the 10th position in the Hero ISL table with just a solitary win. They have lost their previous five matches and will be desperate to return to winning ways. Boothroyd, who was was accompanied by midfielder Ritwik Das in the official pre-match press conference, stated that injury to key players have hurt his side and that he was looking to reinforce his squad in the ongoing transfer window.  

Boothroyd further stated that the club is in the rebuilding phase and he remains positive to see the Red Miners back in the top half of the table soon despite their recent results.

Here are the excerpts from Boothroyd:

Jamshedpur FC has faced back to back losses. Can you find the exact reason behind the losses?

Well, there's always more than one reason to that. It's uncharted territory for me as a coach. I've never been in this situation before. The reasons are many which we are putting right now. I think the key one is and the most simple one is we lost so many players to injury over the last two months it's ravaged the start of the season early. But that doesn't mean the seasons is over. What that means is that we have to sign some players. One coming in already (Rafael Crivellaro) on Wednesday and hopefully, more in January. We get the right guys to add to the part of the talent that we have got within the club and we should start climbing up the table and get away from where we are because we don't want to be there.

Why did Wellington Priori decide to part away with the club?

It was a mutual decision really, not just about Wellington's decision. Priori has been with the club for two spells and has done very well. But in order the players the club wanted to get in, we had to come to an arrangement and that's what we did.

How do you assess your opponents ATK Mohun Bagan ?

They are very tough opponents with great strengths. It will be a very difficult game for us and they are a good team and one of the top teams, I believe, and that'll be a difficult game for us, but not insurmountable.  I think we could give them a few problems as well. But where we are right now, it is coming up at a good time. We want to get back (on top), playing games against tough opposition so this is a good chance to do that.

How does it feel to be at the bottom half of the table, despite being the League Winners Shield last time?

It doesn't feel very nice. It's not something that I am used to or were used to as a group. There are a lot of different reasons and not just one big reason. The obvious one is that the club's best player was Greg Stewart who got 10 goals and 10 assists. He was a key player and he is a key player now for Mumbai city FC and when you lose that sort of a player then it's difficult sometimes to replace him and we are not so much the champions any more but in a transitional period which I hope in future we can be champions again. But we're in a little rebuilding phase at the moment to recover from winning if you like. It is not an issue, I'm sure there are many teams that can win consecutively and keep winning. Sometimes the rest of that are in a little bit of a dip or so I think we're coming out of our dip right now. And hopefully next time I see you, I can say we're up at the top of the table instead of bottom

We are reaching the halfway stage of the league, So how do you see the Indian players and what's your observation on them ?

 My background has been in England with the U21s and I have got to work with really good young players. Ritwik Das is here. He is very talented and has a good overall character,  a really good guy, easy to work with and I found out about this with pretty much all the Indian players. All very keen, want to know, want to learn, want to be better and I think the more exposure they get in the Hero ISL over the period of time, the better they are going to be.

Stephen Constantine has said before that it's very difficult for a foreign coach in India to handle any team. Are you facing such a problem?

No, I don't think it's a problem. I think it's a bit of a challenge to get used to the weather and traveling, getting used to the foreigners' rule of picking four from six. So it's different but I don't think it's particularly difficult. It is challenging, but we follow the same rules and we will work to abide by those. I wanted to come to India because I wanted to experience the people of the culture and the football. So everything's going really well apart from the results at the moment but over a period of time, we will put that right.

Here are the excerpts from Das:

Last season you played well and your goal brought JFC the League Winners' Shield. But this season you have not scored a goal or have given an assist. What has gone wrong?

There is not any particular issue. We, as a team, have not settled yet. Last season also, our first ten matches were not that good. Then we improved in last ten matches and that stint decided our League Shield triumph. This year, we are not yet set. That’s is why, some of the players like me are not so prominent. I think, we have to keep patience to grow and become one of the contenders in this league.

Is Daniel Chima’s inconsistent form affecting your team’s performance?

Not really. We don’t depend on any individual. And we can’t call it inconsistent form. Better to say that, we haven't got the rhythm properly. A win can change the whole scenario.

Is there any problem regarding understanding with your new coach?

I don’t think so. Everything is there in the dressing room, what we had last season - the same bonding and living like a family. We give our 100% in training. In the matches also, we try to give our best. But unfortunately, results don’t reflect to that effort.

How do you assess ATKMB as an opponent? How will you handle a strong team like them in this situation?

They are really tough team and consistent as well. They have good footballers in every position. We palyed against another tough and consistent team in Kerala Blasters FC recently. We have learnt from our mistakes in past. Let’s see, how we can utilise those lessons and if we can give them (ATKMB) a tough challenge or not. Having Eli Sabia back to our team is a big boost for our team. We are charged up with his return. Now we are just waiting for success.

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