Jamshedpur FC assistant coach Steven Dias expressed mixed feelings about the result as his team settled a point against Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Saturday.

The Blasters opened the scoring in the 23rd minute of the match, with their talisman Dimitrios Diamantakos bagging his 13th goal of the season by converting a sleek assist from Emmanuel Justine to give his team the lead.

Seconds before the halftime whistle, Jamshedpur FC midfielder Elsinho sent a ball from within their own half that stunned the Kerala Blasters FC defence, handing Javier Siverio a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper. The Spaniard calmly placed the ball past the Kerala Blasters FC goalkeeper Karanjit Singh, taking his team into the second half with the scores level.

A goalless second half saw both teams earn a point, concluding the match 1-1 at full-time

Considering the importance of each point in the tight race for the final playoff berth, the assistant coach is happy that his players managed to come back from behind to secure a point but expressed disappointment at failing to register a win.

We are not satisfied with the result because we wanted to go for three points because we are looking to qualify for the top six. But, still happy with the one point because at this point, each and every point is important. So we have two more matches we will focus on them. We will go back, analyze this match and get ready for the next two matches,” stated Dias in the post-match press conference. 

Nigerian forward Daniel Chima Chukwu was unavailable for the fixture due to suspension following a red card he received in their previous match against Mumbai City FC. He had been a pivotal figure in the frontline of the Men of Steel, tallying six goals and an assist thus far in the ISL 2023-24 season.

Dias believes that Chukwu's presence could have bolstered Jamshedpur FC's offence.

“It is different when he (Chima Chukwu) is there. He is a very good player. He scores goals. So, yeah (his absence was there). If he had been there, we would have got little help. But yes, this is the thing. He will come back in the next match, so we will focus on our next match,” he shared.

The Men of Steel have showcased a brilliant performance throughout this season, yet struggled to translate it into favourable results due to a poor conversion rate. In their match against Kerala Blasters FC, they maintained 58.8% possession of the ball and attempted eight shots, but only three of which were on target, resulting in just one goal scored.

Addressing the lack of clinicality upfront, Dias said, “I think players are giving their best. In training also we are working on our finishing. They're doing excellent. But you know, sometimes in matches it happens. So we will go back and from tomorrow we'll start our training. We will work again on our finishing. So hopefully in the next two matches, you will get to see some goals.”

Player of the match Javier Siverio impressed Dias with his performance against the Blasters. Scoring his second goal for Jamshedpur FC in the form of their equalizer against Kerala Blasters FC, the Spaniard has proven himself highly impactful since his arrival. 

Sharing his thoughts on Siverio, the 40-year-old tactician said, “He's always been a key player for Jamshedpur FC when he came from East Bengal. And the way he's playing for us is excellent. So for us, he’s always been a key player and in each and every match he's performing. He's showing that he's an excellent player.”

Jamshedpur FC currently sit seventh on the league table with 21 points from their 20 matches, a point behind sixth-placed Bengaluru FC. 

Dias keeps his faith in the players, confident that they will give their all in the remaining two fixtures and make it through to the playoffs. 

“We still have a chance. So it's not an impossible thing. I am confident that we will get through to the top six, so we will work. The boys are excellent. They are working really hard. In these next two matches, I am sure that they will give their best. They will perform and hopefully, we will qualify in the top six,” he concluded.