Jamshedpur FC interim head coach Scott Cooper is determined to enhance his team's goal-scoring efficiency as they prepare to face NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday.

The Men of Steel have been defensively solid, boasting three clean sheets in four matches and conceding just once this season. However, they have only managed to score a single goal. While Cooper acknowledges his team's impressive defensive record, he remains concerned about their performance in the attacking third.

He emphasised the need for patience, considering his players haven't had much game time together, and it will take some more time to gel. Although they are creating chances, the focus now needs to shift to converting them.

“It's a good point. If your team defends well and you create many chances, you know tactically you're doing something very well, very right. We can take confidence that we have the strongest defence in the league and we're creating many chances. However, we're not converting the chances. Now, I could say we've been unlucky,” Cooper stated in the pre-match press conference.

“I could say it's early in the season, but the fact is we haven't converted chances and we need to start doing that. Chima has just come back to the line-up, Ritwik Das is now healthy, and we've got a new striker in, Steve Ambri. I think we don't need to panic as a football team because panicking would be conceding a lot of goals and you're not creating chances. We're the opposite. We're not conceding and we're creating chances. Just once that last part kicks in, it's a very difficult area to coach chances like that. Sometimes, if you prioritize that and focus too much on finishing you make the players a little bit anxious and more likely to snatch at chances rather than go through,” he added further.

Jamshedpur FC created several goal-scoring opportunities against Punjab FC in their previous match but were not clinical in the opposition box. Cooper believes that both they and NorthEast United FC find themselves in a similar position ahead of their clash on Thursday.

“I would say we're satisfied with the performance but disappointed with the result because we should have won, especially the last game as many chances were created. And you know we're a club that's developing a team, much like North East is. I think both ourselves and NorthEast have shown we are a new team, a new style, new belief, new way of playing, and new coaches and I think both teams are doing a very good job,” he said.

Cooper had high praise for Brazilian centre-back Elsinho, who has seamlessly integrated into his new surroundings and has been a defensive stalwart for Jamshedpur FC thus far.

“His (Elsinho’s) performance speaks for itself. Modern-day centre backs should be good in the air, athletic, composed in position, and good in speed. Elsinho has all these above qualities,” Cooper opined.

“I never brought Elsinho to Jamshedpur FC to be a midfielder. We knew what we wanted and the type of player who will link well with the likes of Pratik (Chaudhari) and Dinpuia so it's going to be a nice balance,” he added.

Goalkeeper Rehenesh TP accompanied Cooper in the pre-match press conference. The 30-year-old has been superb between the sticks for the Men of Steel, keeping three clean sheets and would be keen to continue his performance against his former side NorthEast United FC.

“First of all, I'm happy to be back here. I think they have been a really good side this season and they have been playing really good football and they have one of the best sides to be honest. So we have all the respect for them as a team, we're going to fight against them like every other game,” said Rehenesh.