Jamshedpur FC head coach Khalid Jamil is optimistic that his players have the potential to turn the tide in the second half of the Indian Super League (ISL) as they resume their league journey by hosting NorthEast United FC in the opening match of Matchweek 13 on Wednesday.

Jamshedpur FC, currently holding the tenth spot on the points table with nine points from their first 12 matches, have experienced a positive transformation since the arrival of the Indian coach. The Men of Steel showcased remarkable performances in the recently concluded Kalinga Super Cup 2024, emerging as the winner of Group B by defeating strong opponents like Kerala Blasters FC and NorthEast United FC. Now, they are determined to carry forward this impressive form into the ISL, striving for a spot in the top six.

Jamil expressed his admiration for his players' hard work, commending the squad's significant improvement in a short period. Encouraging his players to maintain this momentum in the upcoming ISL matches, he firmly believes in their zeal and determination to turn things in their favour.

“I give all the credit to the boys. All the players played well and worked hard (in the Super Cup),” Jamil said in the pre-match press conference.

“We have the capability to turn the tides (in the ISL). They are doing well and are confident. I told them to play their natural game. We motivated them, and we got good results in the Kalinga Super Cup. We have to continue like this because the first match (in the ISL) is very important. We will do what we have prepared. There are 10 matches left. We lost (matches) in the first leg. This time, we should play well. We can't underestimate the opponent because they are a good team. They have a good mix of Indian and foreign players. So, it is not an easy game for us. We have to be on top (of our game),” he added.

Jamil emphasized the importance of having the continuous support of their fans, expressing his belief that his team will perform well with such unwavering backing. Speaking in this context he said, “It is important to get fans' support because we cannot play without the fans.”

“The fans have to support us, and we will try to make them proud with our game. If we get continuous support from the fans like we always had, we will do good,” he added.

The 46-year-old shares his insights on the growth of Indian football.

Commenting on India's recent participation in the Asian Cup 2023, he acknowledged that the Blue Tigers exhibited notable improvement in their performance, despite facing defeats in all three group league matches.

“There has been improvement in Indian football, and there is no doubt about it. Since the Indian players have gained confidence because foreign coaches and foreign players have come,” he said.

“It will take time. It's a step-by-step process. In the recent game, we have seen India's performance improve, and they are doing well in International football, though the result (in the Asian Cup) was not favourable. But we have improved both defensively and in our attack too,” he signed off.