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CK Vineeth just being there physically has been a big psychological boost-Coppell


The Englishman said the returning Bengaluru FC players have made a big difference...

Kerala Blasters FC head coach Steve Coppell has chalked his team's resurgence in the 2016 Hero Indian Super League up to the return of local boys CK Vineeth and Rino Anto in the Blasters fold. Kerala came from behind to register a 3-1 win against defending champions Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Saturday. It was their second win in succession, inspired by Vineeth's brace. Vineeth, who along with Anto joined the Blasters ranks recently following participation in the AFC Cup with Bengaluru FC, had also scored the winner in a 2-1 win in their previous match against FC Goa.

“Having the two players join us from Bengaluru FC has made a huge difference. CK Vineeth just being there physically has been a big psychological boost. They are both very good players. It's something you can't do in the ISL, go into the transfer market and sign players. They give us the liberty, and supplement what we already have. We have got a hungry squad wanting to get better, which makes a big difference,” Coppell told reporters after the game.

Kerala may have won the game but there was no denying that they were lacklustre in the first half with Chennaiyin FC creating a slew of chances in front of over 53,000 spectators in Kochi. Assessing his team's performance in the match, the 61-year-old Englishman said: “I thought we were very poor in the first half…Early on, I think we were fortunate as we didn't play well, they had opportunities. To be honest, they were better than us. I was desperate for half time to come, so I could have a quick chat with the boys to sort things out. Thankfully, that came soon… We have to thank the crowd because they created the atmosphere that was fabulous and that does make the difference. Maybe, in the first couple of games it might have been pressure for the players. But now it is more like an occasion that everybody enjoys. The players are more relaxed now. The momentum we gained with the goals and the crowd in the second half makes up for a very special night.”

English striker Antonio German also came into his own tonight and provided two assists after substituting Kervens Belfort in the second half. Coppell provided an update on Belfort's injury and also discussed German's return to form. “Looking bad [Belfort's injury], you can probably say that. He has been our most significant striker. He offers something which is very difficult to stop. When he went off, Antonio started. He always wanted to play down the middle and tonight he had the opportunity. At this point, there is pressure to deliver. People are looking at him. We needed a focal point for our attack and he provided that. The first goal was massive for us…He created that goal because he was determined to set up Didier Boris Kadio. He can look back on his tonight's game and think it's a good job. He can say that he has been part of the team that has been successful. Belfort has a groin injury. He had a groin injury after the previous game and I think he has aggravated it a little. We have got about a week before we play again so I think he has an opportunity to rest and get some treatment to recover and make himself available for the next game,” Coppell said.

Report and Phot0 © ISL Media

Published: Sun Nov 13, 2016 07:26 PM IST


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