The 61-year-old Englishman was glad with a point after back-to-back defeats, he also identified scope for improvement and admitted it was time his players repaid the passionate fans in Kochi with goals after another turnout of almost 55,000 on Sunday…
“I thought we kept the ball a lot better and we tried to be progressive from the back. They are a solid team who play with a sitting midfield. So it’s hard to get at them. But I thought we didn’t really over-commit ourselves, we played our game plan and we just needed the break.
Obviously Michael [Chopra] had a couple of opportunities and we had some crossing situations but all in all I was pleased with the discipline and performance, the effort and the commitment. I just hope we get a goal to make these wonderful supporters happy so that they can go home happy. Once again the support was just magnificent, just special and all the players appreciate it,” Coppell told reporters at the post-match press conference.
Antonio German, who was one of the revelations of Hero ISL 2015, has yet to get his name on the scoresheet this year. When asked if a tinkering of positions had effected the 24-year-old’s form in front of goal, Coppell said: “I don’t think it matters really. You know we have positions but it doesn’t mean one person is going to stay in one position…I don’t think it’s an issue of trying to find a situation for somebody. I think it is a team that understands the shape and looks to drop people in and it doesn’t matter where they are.”
One area of concern for the Blasters this season has been their finishing having managed just one shot on target in their three matches so far, and Coppell admitted that hard work was the only remedy for his side’s shyness in front of goal.
“All we can do is work hard. We work in training, we do a lot of finishing. Sometimes if you come to our training facility and watch us crossing, finishing you think ‘oh, fabulous it’s going to come’. I am not going to turn a blind eye to it but I believe it is going to come. I always say that in life and not just football you get out what you put in but it does not come in equal instalments. You keep pushing and pushing and trying to improve. These players are really genuine trying to improve and again in training they work ever so hard and I just feel that they will get their reward very shortly. Today we open the account and I hope next game we can really push on,” he said.
Coppell also shed light on Cedric Hengbart’s substitution in the second period, stating the move was not tactical and was forced due to injury. “No, no he had an injury. He is a warrior, a brave footballer. He got an injury after 18 minutes I think and he stayed on until the second half. Obviously it’s his warrior mentality to stay there and work hard for the team. I think as a captain he has certain responsibilities but I think as the game went on he was getting hampered by the injury and of course when he got booked we thought we should replace him,” he said.
Photo and Report Via ISL Media