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Steve Coppell content with result, Josep Gombau rues silly mistakes

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar

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This win for the Kolkata outfit will directly see them play in later stages of the Super Cup.

ATK finished a relatively disappointing season on a bright note, defeating Delhi Dynamos 2-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium to guarantee a place in the Super Cup main stages. Two second-half goals from Edu Garcia and Ankit Mukherjee gave the hosts the win after Nandhakumar Sekar had equalized things at one point.

Josep Gombau didn’t seem a happy figure after the loss. When asked on whether a lack of concentration resulted in the poor result, he said, “I think we came here to try to win the game. We had that mentality and showed it from the first minute. We played decent football, but in the end, we made silly mistakes which punished us. Today’ it’s a game we lost for ourselves. We should’ve made better decisions in some areas. It’s disappointing as we wanted to finish the season in a good way.”

When questioned on whether his side needs to work on their defending, he explained, “I think the defending crosses is that we cannot bring the ball into the position we wanted. One was from a throw-in and one we should’ve cleared. We should’ve held onto the ball more and defended better from the flanks.”

However, Gombau reassured fans of something to expect after a tough year. He said, “We had a tough year. From the beginning we didn’t get a result, we had a young squad and we are proud that they are growing. Our second part was quite good I hope we do well to get our place int eh Super Cup. It’s our main tournament to win this season.

The winner of the night for ATK

Finally, he was asked on whether he’ll stay another year at Delhi, “When I came here, we signed a one plus one contract. The club wanted me to stay for two years. So let’s see what happens in the Super Cup and then we’ll discuss whether I’ll stay on for another year."

Steve Coppell seemed very happy with the win and when asked about Ankit Mukherjee’s contributions, he said, “Well, he’s played right back for us. I was just looking for something special. Komal worked very hard, but physically it was too demanding for him. I felt we needed fresh legs and help Pritam with Chhangte, who was a constant threat. Ankit went on with the instructions and he’s a very mobile player.



Match Highlights: ATK vs Delhi Dynamos

He had the instruction of playing that midfield role and trying to go forward as much as he could. I think his naivety showed at the season, but it was the naivety which got him to score the goal. He’s a very committed young man that is very committed to playing for ATK.” he added.


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When asked on whether the youngster deserves more chances to play now, he said, “I feel he could yes. But he’s a very steep learning curve. He’s still learning. I hope he gets more game-time to get the experience of playing against top quality players. I hope he gets game time next season for sure.”

Coppell was asked on whether we’ll see a new face of ATK next season after this disappointment. He said, “Well, this is a club who won two out of five ISL. There is a real determination from the owner to make that three. I don’t doubt that it’s only a matter of time before it becomes three. I think there’s a success gene in a lot of clubs and that’s very much evident at ATK. I hope the construction of the squad continues. The acquisition of Edu(Garcia) was of real quality. The goals he contributed showcased “

Furthermore, when asked on whether there will be any changes to the squad next season, he said, “I really don’t know. I think there will definitely be changes. It’s all about the acquisitions that we make. I’m very much of the opinion is that success in most teams-sport is 80% of the recruitment. After the recruitment, there’s a question of execution, which is the remaining 20%." He also stated that squad-depth will be improved during pre-season.

Published: Mon Mar 04, 2019 01:59 AM IST

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