ISL 2017: Steve Coppell heaps praise on Mehtab Hossain for keeping Dimitar Berbatov quiet
After the stalemate against ATK in the first match of ISL, Kerala Blasters were against new entrants Jamshedpur FC in their second match. The match marked the return of former Kerala Blasters manager Steve Coppell and midfielder Mehtab Hossain to Kochi. Both of them were cheered by the fans during pre-match warm-up sessions.
It was a second home match for Blasters and a win was necessary for the Yellow Army to show their intentions for the season. However, Kerala Blasters failed to find the goal as the match ended 0-0 draw yet again. Even with some of the big name attackers like Dimitar Berbatov, Iain Hume and CK Vineeth on their side Blasters failed to find the net for two home games in a row.
Steve Coppell, on the other hand, was happy to get two points from two of their away games. Blasters fans showed their frustration at the end of the match as the team failed to open the scoring after playing 180 minutes.
"Yes, we are happy with the result, Kochi is a difficult place to come and play for opposition team and returning with a point is great," he said.
Despite being happy with the result, Coppell rued the chances his team missed in the game. He said, "We had some good moments in the game which we could have done better."
During the game, Kerala's star forward Dimitar Berbatov was tightly marked by Jamshedpur midfielder Mehtab Hossain. While Coppell did say that it was a ploy to keep the Bulgarian quiet, he revealed that they had not started out with that plan.
"Initially we didn't intend to mark Berbatov, but it happened as the match went on," he said.
He went on to praise Berbatov for drifting into various positions and causing a lot of damage to Jamshedpur. He further praised Mehtab, saying that the Indian midfielder did a brilliant job in keeping Berbatov quiet.