Steve Coppell stunt by football fans of kerala
Kerala Blasters FC head coach Steve Coppell has urged his players to put in a much-improved performance when they take on Delhi Dynamos FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday.
Kerala are going into the match on the back of successive defeats against NorthEast United FC and Atlético de Kolkata, while their rivals for Sunday’s encounter are high on confidence having brushed aside defending champions Chennaiyin FC in their opening game. Coppell, speaking to the media on Saturday, said it was high time his team improved and registered their first win of the season.
Talking about the ISL and its ability to nurture Indian football, Coppell was highly optimistic and said that he felt that there was ‘real hunger for footballing success’ in India.
“I think the ISL will be a massive help to Indian football – It provides a base for Indian footballers to judge themselves. They look at International footballers and can compare themselves. What should be done differently? How do I get better? They also get a lot of publicity. Overtime, the league will attract current top players which will benefit Indian football.
“It will bring attention to the game. There is a real hunger for football in this country. I’ve noticed this in the short period that I’ve been here. When India played their last International, they won 3-1. I can see a desire to reach the top 100 in rankings and they are beginning to see a way forward.”
On the ‘way forward’, Coppell emphasized that the youth should not be ignored and they should be exposed to world class facilities. He explained, “The way forward is to have longer leagues. It is also important to provide better facilities right across the country. Not just for the ISL teams, but for the kids. ISL teams have to provide big academies with great facilities. That will propel India into the top-100 in FIFA rankings.”-Coppell said.
Coppell emphasized that a team needed a key player in conditions in India to provide that special fator and score as well as create goals and drive the team forward.
You need a key player who will drag the rest of the side. Score goals out of nothing and be creative. You need luck with injuries. 14 games in 9 weeks is so demanding that only the team with a strong mentality will go through to the semi-finals.”
“Nobody is responsible. It was a collective decision. We had options with Anto and I think Josu is a constructive left-back. Some of his passing and set-pieces are very good. Also, you don’t need a left-footed player as a left-back. So we have options. Jhingan is a versatile player who can play right across the back four. Time will tell if our options are ideal.”
Coppell did admit that the pre-season preparationswas not ideal. Kerala Blasters were the only team to do pre-season preparations in India last season and paid the price by finishing rock bottom. Though they went to Thailand this time around, Coppell revealed that the trip was not well planned.
“I have no complaints. We planned the Thai trip relatively late. Maybe next season the club will prepare better,” he mentioned.
But Coppell insisted that his team were good enough and strong enough to progress in the tournament.
He said, “We’ve now got to prove ourselves very quickly. We got two home games coming up. With 14 games in the league, it’s a competition that you need fitness, resilience and persistence. We are fit, I know we are resilient and I guarantee we will show persistence. I’m confident on qualifying for the latter stages.”
Coppell on KBFC Fans
Coppell said he was stunned by seeing the support from the Kerala fans,he request them to support the them for the next match.
He said the club will return with full power against Delhi and will put all the effort to win for the fans.
He thank all the fans for this huge support and said the atmosphere is best in the world and can be compared to once in Europe.
The former Reading gaffer also didn’t rule out the possibility of some changes to his team on Sunday. “I don’t think there will be significant changes but there will be changes. This league is demanding and hence you have to evaluate the team and plan. So, yes there’ll be a few changes, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s match.”
Commenting on the fitness status of his team, Coppell said: “Prasanth [Karuthadathkuni] is out because of an ankle injury. Apart from that everyone else in available.”