Coppell admit that the Blasters deserved something from the game and that luck did play a role in the result, he believes such things even themselves out over the course of the season…
“I think we deserved something from the game. They are a very good side, they will be difficult for many teams to beat as they are very composed in possession. I think we played with really good energy. They played with a little more composure in certain situations for sure but I was really pleased with my players and their commitment and their drive to take the game to their opposition,” Coppell said.
He added: “We have a few players who are just coming back from injuries and haven’t played much football, I was pleased with the way they survived. The goal was a massive deflection, similar to the one scored the other night in the Kolkata game, that time it worked against them this time it worked for them. So I’m sure that over the course of the season we will get a situation where we will get the ball in the back of the net in a similar way.”
In spite of showing great attacking invention and creating plenty of chances, the Blasters failed to register any shot on goal over the course of the 90 minutes. Asked if this was an area of concern for the Kochi-based outfit, Coppell said: “No, I think we have good quality. But I agree with you we are getting into a really good situation but are unable to hit the target. The past doesn’t equal the future. Just because we haven’t done it so far we will not be able to do it in the future games. Two games we haven’t scored, we have to get better individually and collectively. I’m looking forward to the next game. If I get the same commitment from the players I had today I think we’ll be fine.”
Coppell also elaborated on the absence of Aaron Hughes and how FIFA’s five-day rule that prevents players from participating for their club side prior to playing for their nation was the reason for him missing today’s match.
“Aaron Hughes our marquee player, he was called up by Northern Ireland. They have two world cup qualifiers this Saturday and Tuesday… The manager of Northern Ireland phoned me and told me he had a few injuries and could not risk having another injury. He apologized, he realized that he is an important player, the marquee player. But because of the five-day rule Aaron had to go back. He will play the two games against San Marino and Germany and come back to us next Wednesday or Thursday. It is a difficult situation for him because he wanted to stay but because of the FIFA regulations he really did not have any say in the matter,” he said.
Coppell also spared a thought for the 54,900 fans, who were in attendance to back their team on Wednesday.
“Obviously, two defeats is not what we planned for. But I prepare a team and all I can I ask from my players is to give it their all. Our supporters today would see that the players were committed, they kept on going right till the end, we had opportunities in the end from corners, Cedric [Hengbart] had a really good header and if that had gone in, the momentum would be with us. I hope the fans saw that we are really doing our utmost to try and get the results. This is one of the best atmospheres I have ever been involved in football. It is called devotion, it is devotion towards their club and we appreciate it and we need it. Two home games coming we need the fans to give us the impetus. So I just ask them to give us their all and in return we will give our all,” Coppell said.
Report and Picture Via ISL Media