We opened up the door for Mohun Bagan SG: Jamshedpur FC’s Steve Cooper
Despite taking the lead, Jamshedpur FC suffered a defeat against Mohun Bagan Super Giant in a five-goal thriller on Wednesday.
Jamshedpur FC interim head coach Steve Cooper expressed his dissatisfaction with the performance of some players after his team's defeat to Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Wednesday.
Jamshedpur FC took the lead through Mohammed Sanan before Armando Sadiku levelled the score for the Mariners. Liston Colaco then doubled the visitors' lead shortly after the break. Matters worsened for Jamshedpur FC as goalkeeper TP Rehenesh was sent off, leaving them with 10 men. They conceded another goal through Kiyan Nassiri but continued to cause problems for Mohun Bagan SG until the final whistle. Cooper's team reduced their deficit through Steve Ambri, and despite creating chances, fell short in the end.
Reflecting on the result, Cooper revealed that he had intended for his team to push for more goals after taking the lead but was disappointed with the performance of some players who didn't follow his instructions.
"It was never my intention to fall back at 1-0. I wanted two, I wanted three. I think Mohun Bagan (SG) were there for the taking tonight. At 1-0, their centre-backs were all over the place when we were pressing them. And then we had one or two players who decided not to keep their shape," he said in the post-match press conference.
"We opened up the door for Mohun Bagan (SG) because they had a very bad start. We created more chances than them. We created 13; they created 11. But we opened up the door because some players didn't do their job properly. And I'm watching them," he explained.
Cooper introduced midfielder Rei Tachikawa and forward Semboi Haokip at the 70th-minute mark shortly after Rehenesh was sent off. The duo made a significant impact on the game, along with Steve Ambri, who came on in the 80th minute and scored from the spot. Jamshedpur FC appeared threatening in the closing stages, despite being a man down, and Cooper was impressed with his substitutes.
"Steve Ambri hit the crossbar after coming on. He looked fantastic, didn't he? I would have liked to have played him for the whole game, but he still had a bit of an ankle injury, so we could only use him for 10 minutes. But in those 10 minutes, he showed his class. Semboi came on and did the same thing. With 10 men, we ran the risk. Sometimes Mohun Bagan (SG) broke away, but we had many opportunities with 10 men. It showed the spirit of the team. There's nothing wrong with the spirit; we just need some players to understand their roles better. The players that came in, Rei (Tachikawa), Semboi, Steve Ambri... They did a really good job of pushing the pace of the game, and they showed me why I must play them in the next game," he further emphasised.