Jamshedpur FC host a rejuvenated Kerala Blasters side in the match 49 of Indian Super League (ISL) on Wednesday at the JRD Tata Sports Complex.
The ISL new entrants are yet to register a win on home soil and have managed to collect just two points from four home matches in the first leg of the tournament. They are currently placed eighth on the league table and are desperate for full points against David James’ Kerala Blasters.
On their approach to this home fixture, Jamshedpur gaffer Steve Coppell said, “Kerala Blasters won back to back games before coming here. David James has had a significant impact on the team. The nature of the team is different so the preparation we made three weeks ago is different from the preparation we are taking now. We are preparing to play against a top quality side. We are desperate to win at home. It is a priority to win home matches. I am hoping it will be a fabulous game.
In the first leg, Coppell’s managed a 0-0 draw against Rene Muelensteen’s side. It was a homecoming for the British coach who had guided Blasters to the final of the tournament last season.
On tomorrow’s clash, Coppell said, “Both teams are going to be different from the first meeting. This will be a different kind of a game. We have Wellington Priori available. His paper works are done. Kerala are a different team now under David James.”
The standard of refereeing in the ongoing ISL has been questioned many a time by several coaches. The poor refereeing has affected the result of many matches and has cost vital points to the teams.
On the standard on refereeing and introduction of VAR in India, Coppell opined, “The referees in ISL are being found wanting. The evidence is that they have not come up to the mark. There have been an awful lot of games that have been decided by referee decisions later proved to be questionable. Personally, I am in favour of video review (VAR). Why ignore it? Every game is televised, so many cameras in use I don’t know why we don’t use the technology. It has been introduced in England. It has earned positive reviews in general. It is inevitable that VAR will come in and certainly in such conditions when referees are regularly questioned. Why not use video evidence and help them?”
The Jamshedpur boss continued, “Poor refereeing will affect the quality of the league. This is professional football. It is live on television across India and I know my friends watch in England so it is going around the world so you want the officiating and playing standard as high as possible. The league is trying to help the Indian referees. At the moment there is a team of English referees who have come here and are helping the Indian referees. Steps are being taken. Referees do need support."
Jamshedpur missed the services of two crucial Indian players, Mehtab Hossain and Anas Edathodika in their previous match against FC Goa. While Mehtab was nursing a back injury, Anas went back to his hometown due to a family emergency.
Coppell refused the reveal the names of the players who will be missing from his squad against Kerala for tactical purpose.
“We have a couple of injury issues. I won't reveal the names. Anas is back, he had a family emergency so he didn’t play against Goa. He has not trained much so I have to see if he will start tomorrow,” said the British coach.