Jamshedpur FC will look to claim three points when they face Ranko Popovic's men at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune on Wednesday.
Head coach Steve Coppell did not mince words to express his displeasure over scheduling as Jamshedpur has to play five games in a span of 16 days.
"I don't think that there should be a three-day turnaround. I presume every team has that. I haven't checked. I think it is unnecessary that with 10 teams, some teams have 9-10 days gap between games and the scheduling can be a little bit more kind. The idea of the tournament is to find out the best team. Not the team with the most endurance or not the team with the best geographical situation or maybe the best airport to travel around from. Fatigue is not an issue either for me or the players. It is a fact of life and we have to deal with it."
"January will be a testing month. We have got big challenges upfront and it starts with Pune," added the British coach.
Coppell rated his opponents very highly and was full of praise for Marcelinho, Alfaro and Diego Carlos.
"It will be great to gain the momentum by winning here. But this is a difficult place to come. Pune's style I think suits them when they are away from home. They are defensively solid and can create quick counter attacks with a cutting edge. They have got the best players (Marcelinho and Alfaro) in terms of goals and creating chances. You have to deal with them without making them the focal point of whatever you do, as then others will hurt you. They are a good team. I am absolutely delighted with the fact that we are just three points behind them," said the former Kerala Blasters coach.
Coppell shed light on how good a signing Wellington Priori has been, referring to his match-winning assist against Delhi Dynamos.
"Any change in personnel is bound to affect the team on the pitch. He is a big strong boy who can get around the pitch. Since he is a Brazilian, he has a nice combination with Memo in midfield. He even assisted the winning goal to Trindade in the previous match. Similarly, with Pune, they have Marcelinho, Alfaro and Diego who understands each other's football well as they are all Brazilians too. So, as far as we are concerned, Priori links the team well and that's what we have got in him," said the former Bristol City manager.
Jamshedpur came back from a two-goal deficit to win three points against Delhi Dynamos and Coppell admits that he has made some minor alterations in the style of play.
"We have changed a bit. We try to play as attacking as possible. If that means we don't have the lion's share of possession and we counter-attack quickly so be it. It's not a playing design which we look to encourage. There are some teams which prefer possession more as there are coaches from various nationalities who have a different philosophy. I think it adds to the mosaic of ISL, which is great to see," concluded the British coach.