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ISL Match #17 Preview: DDFC vs JFC

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After two back-to-back defeats, Delhi Dynamos FC coach Miguel Angel Portugal is hoping to guide his boys back to winning ways when they take on Jamshedpur FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) on Wednesday. Delhi started their campaign with a win over FC Pune City FC but have since suffered a dip in form.

While addressing reporters at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday, the Spaniard spoke about the importance of imparting his philosophy and mental toughness to the players so that they produce consistent results.

"In the last match, we had three to four goal-scoring opportunities but then we made mistakes at the back. And that is a problem. For me, you need to score one at least one goal  more than the opponent. I need that one goal (more) and that is my philosophy,” Portugal said.

When asked of his decision to bench Lallianzuala Chhangte in their last game against NorthEast United FC, which they lost by 0-2, Portugal said, “He scores goals but sometimes we need him to start from the bench.”

Delhi Dynamos beat FC Pune City 3-2 away from home in their season opener, but since then Portugal’s side has lost both its matches, conceding eight goals and scoring just one in the process.

Their opponents on Wednesday, Jamshedpur FC, have kept three clean sheets in as many games. Managed by former Kerala Blasters FC boss Steve Coppell, Jamshedpur FC have not netted a goal thus far. But Englishman Coppell has nothing but high praise for what his team has achieved. “For a young team that has never played in the Hero ISL before, three clean sheets is a great achievement. Obviously, we would love to score. We don’t go on to the field thinking we won’t score but we are playing against some good quality sides, who have played a lot more ISL football and have more experience.”

Coppell also expressed displeasure over the playing surface at Jamshedpur for the team's inability to open its account. “Also, our home game was on a difficult surface, so it is an achievement. We are desperate to score but from a coaching point of view, I would prefer a 0-0 result over a 4-4 scoreline. Obviously, we have to score to win games,” Coppell said.

Coppell said that Delhi’s recent dip in form doesn’t mean his team is in an advantageous position. “As I always say, previous games don’t affect you too much. It does play in the back of mind the next day. But the previous games will have no effect on the result tomorrow,” he said.