We were excellent tonight: Jamshedpur FC head coach Aidy Boothroyd

Jamshedpur FC head coach Aidy Boothroyd was pleased with his team’s performance as they came from behind to beat East Bengal FC 2-1 in Matchweek 15 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Friday.

The hosts opened the scoring in the early minutes of the game through Cleiton Silva. However, the Men of Steel turned the tide in the second half with the help of substitutes Harry Sawyer and Germanpreet Singh as the two were involved in the goals to seal the game with a win.

Putting a halt to their 10-game winless streak with this victory, Boothroyd opened up on how his side overcame a rough patch to achieve a well deserved victory.

“When you're in this job, when you win, it's great. And when you don't win, it's difficult. So we've been in a difficult situation for a few weeks now, I know how Stephen (Constantine) feels today. But I thought we were well worth our win. I thought we were excellent. Particularly in the second half, the first half was a bit shaky for both teams, but in the second half, we went to try and win the game. And thankfully, we managed to do that. Extremely happy despite the face,” Boothroyd stated in the official post-match press conference.

The Red Miners were lagging behind after East Bengal FC took the lead in the first half and weren’t able to get past the opposition defence even after several attempts. The Englishman highlighted how the substitutions upped the confidence of all the players on the field that resulted in the team’s victory.

“We had to do something different. I think what we were doing in the first half, we didn't have enough confidence. Three substitutions, that's the reason that we have three substitutions and five substitutions is because you can come on to the game, and sometimes they make a difference for the good. Sometimes they make a difference for the not good. But all three substitutions were excellent, did incredibly well. So (I’m) extremely happy with them,” he said.

The side’s new signing Rafael Crivellaro has been a massive creative outlet for the team, creating more chances through each passing game, and has an assist to his name. On being questioned about why goalscorer Harry Sawyer was not involved in the starting lineup, the 51-year-old revealed how the team needed a change of dynamic in the final third. 

“What I try to do is that I get Crivellaro more involved in the game. He's our most creative player. So we try to get him on the ball. Sometimes the opposition obviously chose to stop him. So sometimes within drifting in different places, different pockets of space, he allows other players to make runs off him. And we didn't quite do that. until I made the change. So I'm pleased.”

Ritwik Das, who was the top Indian goalscorer under former head coach Owen Coyle last season, has found his shooing boots and is now the joint-leading goalscorer for his side this season, having netted three goals so far. Boothroyd also commented on Das’ goal and his recent goalscoring form.

“I can't believe he scored a header at the far post. I thought it was a brilliant ball and a wonderful finish. Brave header. He got two in the last game, one in this game. So he's the joint top-scorer at the moment, so I'm really pleased with his contributions,” he said.

The reigning Hero ISL Shield winners qualified for the AFC Champions League by virtue of winning the league last season. The head coach asserted how his team is shaping up besides having key personnel not playing, stating that the team’s focus is on the ongoing season and not on what’s ahead of it.

“A cup run would be lovely. I think we're concerned about small steps. So (to) build on tonight's game, we know the upcoming games are all against difficult opponents. But I know what the best team is if everybody's fit. Unfortunately, we've not had everybody fit. We've lost some key players in key positions, in key parts of the season, the early part of the season for definite. So, it's making sure that I'll have a look at all the wounded, see how they are, and pick a match fit team for the next game. We'll not worry too far ahead just yet,” he concluded.

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