Costa and Coppell focus on positives despite stalemate

Mumbai City FC and ATK played out the second goalless draw of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday. Both sides set up defensively and failed to create too many meaningful chances over the course of the match. The draw keeps Mumbai in the fourth place with 14 points, while ATK find themselves in the sixth position with 11 points.

At the post-match press conference, Mumbai head coach Jorge Costa took questions from the media. Reacting to the result, he said, "There were positive and negative things. The result, in my opinion, is a fair result. We had only one real chance to score. We fought a lot and ATK also fought a lot. It is one point extra. This is not what we wanted before the game. This break was not good for us as it is difficult to recover the focus."

With the January transfer window inching closer, Costa was asked whether he would bring in any new additions to bolster his squad, to which he responded, "We will see. It is not easy to find new players. If we can, we will do it. But we are working to see what we can do to improve our team."

Steve Coppell, head coach of ATK, was also present at the presser to share his thoughts on the match. The Englishman admitted that the result was not what he had hoped for but declared that he was satisfied with his team’s performance. "I am slightly disappointed, but it was too close to call. We created problems for ourselves in the second-half. We were always trying to get our noses in front. The odd yellow card had disrupted our attacks. They have had three great results and yet we were still more on the front foot than they were. So, in a way, I am reasonably pleased," he said.

Talking about the effect of the international break on his team, Coppell stressed the need for momentum to achieve positive results. "Although we played eight games, I never really felt that we got into a rhythm. All players like to play games regularly. So, it is difficult to pick up again. Now we will see. We have five games in 19 days," he stated.

The 63-year-old also explained why his side exercised caution in the match, even while going forward. "We go everywhere to try and win. But you can’t be stupid especially against Mumbai because they are so disciplined. If you just throw men forward stupidly, they will punish you on the counter attack. So, we had to attack from a position of strength as much as we could. So, I thought we did well on the night," he said.

Click here to read the match report.

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