Both tacticians revealed their disappointment with wasted chances.
ATK held FC Goa to a 0-0 draw at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Wednesday. It was ATK’s second consecutive 0-0 draw after drawing blanks against Mumbai and their third successive clean-sheet. However, Goa were unlucky not to get a penalty and all three points after dominating chunks of the game.
Sergio Lobera seemed a bit irritated at the result and spoke on the penalty, “I think the penalty was obvious from the hand-ball. When there’s a penalty and its obvious and the referee doesn’t give it, you can’t really do or say much. I have to respect the referee and today I have to do a big thing to respect the result.”
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Watch: ATK 0-0 FC Goa highlights
The Spaniard gave a diplomatic answer when questioned on whether he felt ATK had the better chances in the game. He said, “I think both teams had a fair amount of open chances. (Mourtada) Fall had a great chance in the first half and towards the end, we had a good chance. I think it was an open game.”
When asked about the overall refereeing in the ISL so far he said, “I’m not going to speak then I’m risking a suspension. I’m always respectful of the referees. Always. You’ve never heard of me speaking badly about referees in press conferences. But, if you need the league to improve, we all need to improve.”
Lobera shrugged off any talk of Ferran Corominas’ off-form. “For me, as the coach he played very well. If you analyze the spectator because he didn’t score it might seem like an off-day. It’s very difficult to play against a team who put so many of their players in their own half. As a forward, whenever he receives a ball there are 8-9 players around him. I think ATK achieved in keeping him silent throughout the game.”
The Gaurs’ tactician also spoke on whether he felt Goa played below their standards and said, “I think we did the best we could today. We got many chances on goal and if we got the penalty, we could’ve won. I think the way ATK have played, it’s more joyful for their coach than for me today,” he signed off.
Steve Coppell spoke about his feelings on the result, “I think time will give me the conclusion of my emotions after the result. They had two good chances early on when we were settling into the game. After that, I felt we got more clear-cut opportunities. To keep Goa quiet is an achievement in itself, but maybe with time, it’ll be something to be thought of as points dropped rather than points won.”
The Englishman also spoke about what he felt on his team keeping Corominas quiet throughout and said, “They got really good players. The core of their team has been together for two seasons. That familiarity is hard to achieve in a short space of time. What we wanted to achieve today, we did well. We kept Coro quiet. He needs only one chance to score in this season and last season. That itself was a team achievement, not only the back four.”
“But we’ve really got to start taking more opportunities and scoring. We are solid defensively. But now, we need to be more expressive going forward. Now, we have three away games, so it’s difficult to balance the conundrum of keeping clean-sheets and scoring goals,” he added.
Coppell also spoke about the refereeing and expressed, “It was challenging and competitive for him. I don’t like to see everyone waving yellow cards. The referee was put under a fair bit of pressure. Sometimes you think to join it or let it go. I think the referees in this country are very focused on improving. I saw there’s an ex-English referee here today trying to raise standards everywhere.”
When questioned about how difficult it is now to get into the top four he said, “It’s difficult. There are some teams stretching the league at the moment. I think we need to be better in the second half to get into the playoffs spot. But the challenge is there for us. I think things will be more clear after the next three games.”