ISL 2017: Jamshedpur coach Coppell proud of 'defensive unit' label after 1-0 win over Bengaluru
After Jamshedpur FC came away from Bengaluru with a famous 1-0 win in the ISL, coach Steve Coppell was relieved to come away with all three points against what he described as a very competitive side.
"To come here and win the game; we're obviously very happy with that. Apart from the Chennai game, Bengaluru have been looking very good. They're very strong and competitive so obviously we had to play against their strengths and I'm happy with the three points.
"We worked very hard on that and I think we did okay. They had some opportunities in the second half but we looked a little bit more threatening."
The visitors sat back and soaked up the pressure until the second half saw an end-to-end game as Jamshedpur looked to get a result against a team that was playing its third game in a week.
"Three games in seven days is demanding," he explained. "Sometimes the ISL schedule can determine an awful lot and make a big impact on results. We could more or less guesstimate what their team would be because of the changes he made in midweek."
"We had a fair idea of the way they were going to play. We had to adapt in the second half when they changed their shape slightly. It was so close - there wasn't a great deal between the teams. As the home team they had more impetus as you would expect but from our point of view it was a stoic display."
"After our defeat against Pune City, we wanted to make amends. So this went some way [in doing so]."
Coppell also admitted that he would not have been bothered by the result as long as his team showed commitment on the pitch.
"There have been an awful lot of away victoris in the ISL this season," he said. "I really don't know why but it's been quite a regular thing. So wherever we pick up points we are grateful.
"It's almost immaterial what the points are. I look at the performance - their commitment and determination. Whether we won zero, one, or three points, I would still applaud the team because they worked hard and gave a lot after playing with their heads and their hearts."
Coppell explains why Jamshedpur are a 'defensive unit'
Jamshedpur have only scored twice in the ISL so far but more importantly they have only conceded once. Teams have struggled to break them down but at the same time they have also failed to find the back of the net.
But will the ISL debutants pick up and attack more often in the coming games? The team are currently sixth in the table and will need to make up ground as the season progresses.
"We've been a little bit compromised by the pitch in Jamshedpur. In comparison to that pitch, the Bengaluru pitch is magnificent whereas our pitch is a new pitch and it doesn't bind very well.
"It's hard to pass the ball and that affects the way we play. We're hoping that over the course of 2-3 weeks while we've been away, the pitch has developed and got firmer so that we can try and play a more progressive style of play."
"I'm quite pleased with the title of being a 'defensive unit' because we've worked hard at it from day one. If that's the label that people give us then that's okay."