Coppell says ISL is the toughest league for managers
Coppell in an interview said that ISL is the toughest league for a manger as manager show adjust themselves to many hardcore challenges.
He said ISL cant be compared to other leagues as it is the toughest league as there are lots of challenges and lesser time to adapt for any player or managers.
“I think in 15 weeks of football, this is one of the biggest challenges in world football.”
“You are more or less given a squad of players. You have a say in it but it’s not 100 per cent controlled for sure. I didn’t have a great deal of knowledge about the Indian players. I was observing the ISL last year while working for Ten Sports,” he explained.
“Some of your international players you may not sign. Five weeks before the league starts, you get a group of players together from different cultures, countries and nationalities. Prior to coming to play in the ISL, they have been playing in probably 20 different teams in 20 different styles and having a different emphasis on what makes a team successful. So in four-to-five weeks, to get everybody together thinking as one is a challenge.”
“Also, shown by the success of Bengaluru FC, you don’t even get your full squad,” he said. “Mumbai City are missing four players Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Amrinder Singh, Lalchhuanmawai Fanai, we are missing two players CK Vineeth and Rino Anto. So even when those players come back, they have been playing the Bengaluru style and now they got to come back and play the Mumbai or Kerala style overnight. That is hard to do but that is the coach’s responsibility to guide them during that process.”
“When you manage in England, first and foremost you have signed all those players yourself. Secondly, you have ten and a half months to develop a style of play, to develop a mentality. At the end of the day, this is a game which everyone wants to win. No pressure whatsoever (in the ISL). You have pride. You are proud of what you do and you want to do it to the best of your ability, but that’s not the same as pressure,” Coppell said.
When asked about his teams plans he said-
“Any football team works on trying to present more goal-scoring opportunities and we have been working on that. I hate to say it, but you get spells where you just don’t get the returns. We need to get more progressive in front of goal. We need to be more prolific if we are going to be a factor in this league. It’s something that we have thought about an awful lot and we are working hard to try and improve it,” commented the former Manchester United winger.
“There is no real formula to success because Kerala in the first year got to the final of the competition and in the league stage they scored only nine goals. Now we are not trying to emulate that, I can assure you. We are trying to score as many goals as possible. Last year they Kerala finished bottom and scored over 20 goals. So it just shows that there is a balance that we need to have.”
“At this stage, we are literally half-way through the season. Here on, most of the teams might be thinking ‘if you win two of three games, chances are you are going to be in the play-offs.’ That’s where everyone wants to be. Maybe in the first half of the season, people were more frightened of losing. In the second half of the season, people realise that they have to win to get in the play-offs. So I think there will be a change of emphasis and the games will open up more from here towards the end of the season,” he continued explaining.
“For us Kerala, this will be our fourth away game on the bounce. By the time we get home, it will be 20 days. That’s a long trip. We are in an okay position but each game now takes on more importance. If you win, great; a draw, neutral; and if you lose, you think ‘oh, we got a hell of a lot to do.’ With seven games to go, all the teams are not going to be far from the play-offs.”
Meanwhile, Coppell regarded the Delhi Dynamos clash as a fixture that he is looking forward to, pointing at his next opponents being ‘pleasing on the eye’.