Steve Coppell has claimed that managing a club in the ISL is one of the biggest challenges in world football right now. Coppell, who was handed the job of managing a side for the third ISL season, has accumulated just 5 points in as many games as Kerala find themselves 5 points off leaders NEUFC.
"This is the biggest challenge for any manager because you are more or less given a squad of players and don't really have a great deal of say in the selection of the squad. You have a small say," Coppell said ahead of the clash against Zico's FC Goa.
"We have players from France, Spain, Africa and obviously Indians. You have a combination of all the coaches (style) and you have to try and create a style of play which suits a majority of those players. Then you have to be successful."
Coppell admitted that his words might sound "dramatic", but the former Manchester United winger said that the hectic schedule of the ISL makes it different from any other league in the world.
"In 15 weeks, I think this is one of the biggest challenges in world football. That sounds overtly dramatic but I think it is. Not just for me but for the whole organisation to try and get things right," Coppell explained.
The Sachin Tendulkar-owned Kerala Blasters have always opted for English managers with David James and Peter Taylor managing the team before Coppell took over this season. The franchise, who play their home games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, have made a name for themselves as one of the best-supported teams in the league with attendances of 55,000 a common occurrence for home games.
"There are not too many stadiums (here) which are like English stadiums where I am used to. They are close and intimidating. Quite a few here have running tracks around or the supporters are quite a long way away. So it's not as intimidating as in England," Coppell answered, when asked if the atmosphere in home games was as intimidating as it was in his home country.
Next up for Kerala is a trip to fellow strugglers FC Goa, who are last on the table but high on confidence after beating Mumbai City FC at the Cooperage last week.