Coppell pleased with Jamshedpur’s ‘deserved’ victory

Jamshedpur FC scored their first goal and registered their first win of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 after beating Delhi Dynamos FC 1-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday. Izu Azuka scored the only goal of the contest in the 61st minute after Andre Bikey had missed a golden opportunity to put Jamshedpur ahead from the penalty spot.

Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference, Jamshedpur head coach Steve Coppell insisted that his were deserved winners on the night. “Well like I’ve been saying, we have been close three times. I thought we played well tonight. We had some good opportunities, we didn’t give much away. It was very pleasing, so I think the victory was deserved,” he said.

The score was 0-0 at the break with neither side managing to create too many clear-cut chances. Coppell, however, revealed that there wasn’t any change in terms of approach from his side after the restart. “We felt that if we kept on doing the right things, we would get some kind of return, so we did not up the tempo or anything. We like to think that we put the opponents under pressure,” Coppell said. 

Sameehg Doutie didn’t start for Jamshedpur on the wings and Coppell admitted that fitness issues with the South-African as well as the need to freshen up his starting line-up had influenced his decision. “He’s (Doutie) had a few fitness issues. It was just a choice for the game. I have got a squad of 20 odd players; I’m pleased with the squad. They look after each other. I have got interchangeable players. I had (Bikash) Jairu on the left wing and he’s an international player, so it wasn’t as if we were making some detrimental changes. I like to think that we have got a squad which is reasonably balanced so it’s just an opportunity for fresh faces to come in,” the 62-year-old said.

When asked how different the current Delhi side is compared to that of last season, Coppell added: “It’s a very different side. I really enjoy watching this Delhi side play. I saw the game against FC Pune City and I thought that they were fabulous. I think there are positive and seeing players like Vinit (Rai) play in that kind of environment, pleases me. It’s a good way of playing football.  This might sound strange but results aren’t everything in football. Over the course of the season, it’s all about playing well.”

Goal-scorer Azuka also accompanied Coppell to the conference. Commenting on his first impression of the Hero ISL, the Nigerian added: “I don’t think there is any difference in the leagues I’ve played in before (Turkey, Cyprus, Tunisia) and the ISL. They are practically in the same league.”

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