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ISL 2016: Early goal changed the plot according to Kerala Blasters coach Steve Coppell

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Steve Coppell's side suffered the heaviest defeat for any time this season.

Steve Coppell Diego Forlan.jpg
Diego Forlan’s strikes hit Steve Coppell hard

“How long have we got?”, Kerala Blasters coach, Steve Coppell quipped when asked about what went wrong on the night. His side suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat at the hands of Mumbai City FC in Saturday’s Indian Super League encounter.

Coppell lamented the fact that his team conceded so early in the game, which he felt was a major reason for the heavy loss.

“Losing a goal in the first five minutes, we knew they were going to try and do that. Not long after, it seemed as if it was a cheap free kick. From 2-0 down, you’ve got so many things going through your head,” he said.

The former Manchester United player revealed that he was tempted to park the bus in the second half but decided against doing so.

“Going into halftime I was juggling in my head- do we keep it tight and just hope for something or do we have a go to get back into the game? I decided to have a go. Eventually, we leaked a lot of goals. We missed a couple of key personnel, and we got a few players who are not a 100%. We’ve got to learn the lesson from tonight”, he explained.

The Kerala Blasters coach warned that his side can’t afford to dwell on this defeat with three crucial league games still left to play.

“We’ve got to put this to bed. It’s pointless to hold onto this loss for too long because we have a massive game next week (against Pune). That’s something we must prepare for and try and be at our best”.

“Credit to Mumbai, I’ve watched their recent games. They’ve threatened to score a lot of goals. It’s just unfortunate for us that we suffered. The game is easy when you’re 2-0 and 3-0 up. You get a spring in your legs. But my players kept going and still trying to score. Obviously, it was a really bad night tonight”, he added.

After Saturdays, massive loss, Kerala’s goal difference stands at -4, an aspect which the coach isn’t focused on.

“We don’t speculate about goal difference. We can’t do anything about it now. Maybe if I had shut up shop, it would have been only two goals. Qualifications for the playoffs is about points first and foremost. We get sufficient points then goal difference makes no difference”.

“We’re still in a position, we’ve got three games, we’re still in control of our destiny. We don’t have to depend on anyone else. If we do our stuff, then we can be a factor but we’ve got to play an awful lot better than we did tonight”, he concluded. 

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