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Invisible Jamshdedpur have lost their plot

06:53 EAT 03/02/2020
Jitendra Singh Jamshedpur FC
Jamshedpur have registered only one win in their last nine matches...

For a team that still has a minor chance at making it to the playoffs, it was surprising to watch Jamshedpur succumb to ATK's relentlessness right from the first minute at the JRD Sports Complex on Sunday. 

There were 19000 fans present - more than twice the attendance for Kerala Blasters' home game on Saturday -  to watch Jamshedpur put up a fight against one of the best teams in the league this season. They would have hoped that the hosts would respond with vigour to going down to a second-minute goal, that too following a defensive error. But no, the shoulders dropped and a fight never materialised. 

While it is true that Jamshedpur have been plagued by injuries and at times, poor refereeing this season, those two excuses still doesn't explain the lack of fight shown by the players. They have just one win in their last nine games and are currently seventh.

Three teams - ATK, FC Goa and Bengaluru FC - have been at a level above the rest of the league and this is evident in the standings as well. The Men of Steel aren't out of the race for the fourth spot, which is quite incredibly still up for grabs. However, the road ahead is difficult. They are on the road for their next three matches before their final game of the league season at home against FC Goa. 

Given how Antonio Iriondo's team has so far responded to the absence of key players, the confidence levels in the dressing room would be rock bottom. Sergio Castel's return to the first-team fold was expected to lift the mood but without Piti, the team is still devoid of creativity. 

Youngster Sandip Mandi was tested in defence but the experiment failed spectacularly. The youngster was unsure at the back with his passing and positioning and ATK's frontline enjoyed a field day in the attacking third.

While the game ended 3-1, ATK could and should have scored at least two more goals considering the chances they created. The entire defence, including Subrata Paul who looked uncomfortable when passing out from the back, struggled against Roy Krishna and co. 

Jamshedpur had two shots on target after 90 minutes, compared to ATK's eight. It was always going to be a tough task to score against a defence that has conceded only one goal in their last five matches but the midfield failed to provide Castel with ample service. 

Jitendra Singh's second yellow in the second half made it a cakewalk for ATK and they cruised to a win. It was not only a case of missing players and injuries, but there is also tactical and mental ineptitude at Jamshedpur FC that needs to be addressed immediately.