ISL 2018-19: Cesar Ferrando - Getting big coaches not enough to improve Indian football

The Jamshedpur FC head coach has advised the stakeholders of Indian football to concentrate on the grassroots level

After promising so much at the start, it has been a disappointing Indian Super League (ISL) season in the end for Jamshedpur with the side missing out on the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Despite their playoff hopes being extinguished, Jamshedpur coach Cesar Ferrando is determined to end the season on a high as his men get ready to take on Bengaluru FC.

“It’s the last game in front of our home fans and we want to win it for them.  I am delighted with the performance of the team and I wish we can finish the season on a high with a win against Bengaluru,” the Spaniard stated.

“For me, the staff and the team, it is the last match and I want to win.”

Jamshedpur needed to win at any cost against Chennaiyin in their last fixture to keep their top-four hopes alive but could only muster a goal-less stalemate.

Looking back on the missed opportunity, Ferrando said, “We had back luck. We knew we needed to win but we didn’t have any fit strikers. I do not want to use that as an excuse because I think we played really well and deserved to win. I think this team deserved to be in the top-four.”

Ferrando rued the lack of a prolific centre-forward in the squad as he looked back on Jamshedpur’s campaign.

“It is true we made mistakes. I do not want to talk about next year, only this year. When we look back at the four teams that have qualified, all four of them had top strikers. We played together as a team but we had a lack of quality in the final third,” he explained.

“Like the top four teams, we did not have a striker scoring consistently but most of our goals were shared between our attackers. The lack of finishing is perhaps why we have had so many draws. Of course, missing out on the top-four is a disappointment,” Ferrando continued.

There has been a large influx of Spanish players and coaches in the ISL in recent years but Ferrando believes hiring top personnel is not enough to move Indian football forward.

“There are many big coaches in the ISL. If Indian football wants to improve, getting big coaches is not enough. The real work has to be done at the grassroot level. You can get all the foreign coaches, but unless you start developing football from the bottom with your younger players and impart them the proper technical training, you cannot improve. Grassroots development has to be the priority,” he said.

There remains the Super Cup to look forward to for Jamshedpur following the completion of the ISL but Ferrando is not looking too far ahead.

“Yes, we would like to win the Super Cup but our focus at the moment is only on tomorrow which is a big game against a top team Bengaluru,” the Jamshedpur coach concluded.