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ISL 5: “Standings won’t matter so early in the season”- Steve Coppell

Steve Coppell
Steve Coppell (Image: Debashmita Majumdar)

ATK head coach Steve Coppell believes that it is too early to depend on the standings to find the winner of Indian Super League season 5.

As the sloppy ATK sets to host the defending champions Chennaiyin FC at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata on Friday, coach believes that winning a home game is very important. He believes that the home win after registering their first win against Delhi Dynamos is essential.

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“A lot of teams are on the same level. The teams are beating each other very regularly and some have elevated themselves. We want to be at the elite level. For that, we need to win at home. Good teams win at home. We have to collect points in front of our home fans and in the home ground.”

“I think if we look at the stats over the last few years, there are not many teams who have had a dominant home record. To be a top team, you have to have a good record. We aspire to have a positive home record.” He mentioned.

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Head coach of the Kolkatan outfit Coppell has admitted that they haven’t had the best start but that they have shown improvements in the last two games.

After the international break ATK registered a win against the Delhi Dynamos in their first away of the season and registered a 1-1 against Jamshedpur FC. He mentioned that standings doesn’t give a fair reflection of the strengths of any team per say.

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“It was obviously a slow start. The first game we lost 2-0 (against Kerala Blasters) and it wasn’t good match for us. In the second game (1-0 loss to NorthEast United FC), we shot ourselves in the foot. We shut ourselves after a man was sent-off. Against Jamshedpur (1-1 draw), we fought hard. We look forward with optimism to the next few games. We will try and put us in a good position,” Coppell said

“Early on in the season, you’re looking for a rhythm. You’re looking for familiarity between your players. You’re looking to establish a style which can be successful. Until you get three-to-four games under your belt, You are searching a little bit. I think the time on the pitch is the most important thing.”

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The International break has worked as a magic wand for Coppell’s side and they have put a better play in the field against the Dynamos and Jamshedpur FC. The coach believes that best teams may not be assumed only after four matches. The standings in this situation do not give a definite order.

“ To be fair, its so early in  the season that it (standings) won’t matter. The table doesn’t really mean anything until you get six games. After getting to six games you see a definite order. Before getting to six games, it could just be coincidence or how  the fixtures have. But after six, you can see which team will rise and which teams will struggle. Until then, a run of results can be coincidence.” He concluded.


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