Lack of goals major concern for Coppell ahead of Chennaiyin tie
Two-time Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) champions ATK will make a trip down south to face off against Chennaiyin FC on Sunday. ATK are currently sixth in the Hero ISL table with 12 points from their nine matches and will be looking to grab all three points from the match in order to keep themselves in the race for the top four.
ATK head coach Steve Coppell was present at the pre-match press conference to address the media a day prior to the crucial tie. ATK have found it hard to score goals this season and Coppell admitted that the trend was a big worry. "Yes, it does concern me (not scoring enough). We need to score more goals to win more games and get more points. It’s a simple equation. One thing I would say is that we have lost two very strong centre forwards through injury. Kalu Uche and then Alfaro, who never kicked the ball for us. He was injured in training. So, that’s bound to leave a gap but we are working very hard with the personnel we have to try and score. We have some very good players. I just hope that we can convert some of the chances that we create," he said.
After the Chennaiyin match, Coppell’s side will only have two more opportunities to better their position in the league before the Christmas break kicks in. The Englishman stressed on the importance of going into the break on a high note and said, "For every team, the games before the break are critical because you need to be in a good position over the Christmas period to be able to attack the final six games of the season and really cement your place to be in the top four for the playoffs. That’s what it is all about. You need to be in the top four. We need a surge to put ourselves in the leading pack."
Coppell has tried a number of midfield combinations over the course of the season and when asked if the constant tinkering might have affected his team, the Englishman said, "No, I don’t think that’s a part of it at all. Pronay Halder and Gerson Vieira have played together (in the middle) in some matches. We have chopped and changed the wide players a bit. Although we changed the personnel, the roles are very similar. We haven’t really made a great deal of change. The core of the team down the middle has been the same. Unfortunately, Pronay is not available for this game because of suspension. So, that will require a change."
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