Jamshedpur FC defender Andre Bikey remains confident that the debutants can finish among the top four and qualify for the semi-finals despite winning only two of their nine first leg matches in the Hero Indian Super League.
At the end of the first leg, Jamshedpur FC are placed seventh with 10 points from nine matches. But the debutants will be encouraged that they matched FC Goa for most parts of the 90 minutes even though they ended up on the losing side (1-2) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Thursday.
“Everything is open and we are still on it. We are a strong team mentally and it is not easy to come here and perform like we did tonight. But unfortunately we lost the game. That’s football and we have to manage it, keep going and I am sure we will be in the top four,” said the former Premier League footballer.
Commenting on the game, Bikey said, “It was a brilliant game to be honest. We were in the game all throughout and we were prepared for this kind of football by the opponent. We lost and we need to look forward and keep going.”
The Cameroonian footballer is not new to the ISL and knows that a win or two can see positions interchange quickly. His previous stints with NorthEast United (2015) and FC Pune City (2016) makes him determined to taste semi-final action for the first time.
It was Bikey who was adjudged by the referee to have fouled Brandon Fernandes that resulted in the penalty. It led to the opening goal, but Bikey said the need of the hour was to focus again.
“We knew what had happened and we needed to focus back on our game. If you keep complaining you lose focus and you can concede four, five, six goals. We needed to keep our head down and play our game,” he said.
Teams like Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC, FC Pune City and FC Goa have showed remarkable attacking skills to push for a place among the top-four. Jamshedpur haven’t been as prolific, scoring just five goals, but their defensive record is among the best. With the second leg now set to kick off, the debutants will have to do better.
“It’s a long league to go and we still have nine games. We know it will be hard but nothing is done yet. We are still on (in the league) and we will be okay for sure,” he said.