Steve Coppell said win against Goa was super massive
Kervens Belfort‘s late goal ensured that Steve Coppell’s men left with three points. Kerala Blasters‘ coach Coppell was pleased with the comeback and spoke about the importance of clinching an away victory, which was also their first win on the road of the season.
”This is the second game of four away games on the trot and winning it is big for us. I’ve said before, but the league is tough. For us to come here and pick up a win is massive,” he stated.
”We played well in the first half. I am happy we kept on working despite Goa having taken a lead. All the work Goa put in, seemed to take a toll on them in the second half. Remember that they had a game three days back as well,” he added.
The 61 year-old explained that introducing width in play worked well for them as they stretched the Goan wingbacks.
”I was happy that we had decent width in our play. The team has been criticized for being funneled and we didn’t do that. Goa played three defenders and to go down through the middle was playing into their hands. Hence, we decided to bring width into our play and it worked,” he voiced.
Coppell refused to acknowledge the theory that it was the introduction of Lucio for Jofre Mateu that handed the balance of play into their hands.
”I don’t think it had anything to do with Lucio. We looked threatening in the first half as well. (Mohammed) Rafique broke well on the right for the second goal and (Mohammed) Rafi did what he does well,” said the Englishman.
The former Crystal Palace manager was also questioned as to why Thongkosiem Haokip has struggled for minutes this season.
”I spoke with Haokip in the final whistle and am desperate to play him but I’ve got a lot of players to play in the position. Every time I try to play him I think of someone else who could play better. He is a great kid, a goalscorer. If we play like this we will definitely have the opportunity to play him and he will have a great contribution towards the team in the tournament,” he said.
”He has got a thigh strain and will undergo an MRI. He has been an important part of our game and we want him fit and not sitting on the sidelines,” said the former Manchester City manager.
”We will look to give our best, work hard and get as many points as possible. We’ve got Chennai next, we will concentrate on Chennai. They are the champions and we will judge ourselves against the best in the league,” said the former Manchester United winger.