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ISL 2019 | There is a success gene in ATK, feels Steve Coppell

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ISL 2019 | There is a success gene in ATK, feels Steve Coppell

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SportsCafe Desk


After winning their last Indian Super League (ISL) game against Delhi Dynamos FC, ATK coach Steve Coppell has said that there is a success gene which is very much evident in ATK. Edu Garcia and Ankit Mukherjee scored in the second half to give the Kolkata-based side a 2-1 over Delhi Dynamos. 

As ATK managed a win in their last game of the fifth season of ISL, the team has now moved on to the sixth place on the points table. The win against Delhi Dynamos FC at ATK’s home ground at Salt Lake has taken them ahead of Pune City FC and has ensured a direct qualification for the upcoming second edition of the Super Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar.

After a goalless first half, the Kolkata-based team took a lead as Edu Garcia headed the ball into the goal in the 63rd minute. Although Nandhakumar Sekar scored the equaliser nine minutes later, Ankit Mukherjee found the back of the net for the home team to take them up on the points table with a 2-1 win. ATK’s coach Coppell has found a success gene in the club and hopes that the two-time ISL winners will make it three soon. 

"This is a club who want to have more Hero ISLs. ATK already have two and there’s a real determination from the owner to make that three. I don’t doubt that it’s really a matter of time before it becomes three. There’s a success gene in a lot of clubs. That success gene is very much evident in ATK. I hope the construction of the squad continues. The acquisition of Edu Garcia proves that real quality does make a difference in this league," Coppell said during the post-match press conference, reported the ISL website.

"I feel he (Mukherjee) could. But again, he’s on a very steep learning curve. The best way to learn is playing. So, I would hope he would get game time to really experience playing against top quality players because that’s going to be his education. So, I hope he gets game time next year. I think he’s very popular. He’s always got a smile on his face. He’s one of the popular members of the squad. He’s not frightened of expressing himself. He’s a delight in training. He wants to learn. He’s a physical young man. He’s got real pace and he can cause lots of problems.”

On the other hand, the team from the national capital finished eighth in the league this year and will have to play the qualifying matches to make it to the main draw of the Super Cup. Head coach Josep Gombau looked disappointed with the loss against ATK as he had a win in mind to end the campaign in the fifth season. 

"I think we came here to try and win the game. We had this aim and we showed this from the first minute. I think we played quite disciplined, but in the end, we made silly mistakes. Now we need to keep working and start to prepare for the (Hero Super Cup) qualifiers," the Delhi coach explained. 

"I don’t want to use it as an excuse. We are professionals. We needed to win the rest of the games. I can’t say anything about the effort. I think the decisions we made in some moments of the match, lost us the game."

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