Coppell facing a test of fire on his return to Jamshedpur

Steve Coppel's ATK will look for its first win against Jamshedpur FC when the two sides clash in the Indian Super League on Sunday.

This will be Steve Coppel's first game against Jamshedpur FC since he joined ATK at the start of the season.   -  AFP

Jamshedpur FC will look for a reversal of fortunes when it hosts ATK in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Sunday. 

ATK, coached by Steve Coppell, managed a mere three wins at home from nine matches last season and missed out on a play-off spot.

“It's great to be back. I am very proud of what we did last year, even though we did not make the play-offs. It was a great achievement for a new franchise and I look forward to the game tomorrow,” said Coppell on the eve of the match.

Cesar Ferrando's Jamshedpur has impressed in its opening two games of the season, both away from home. The side defeated Mumbai City 2-0 and then followed it up with an exciting 2-2 stalemate against Bengaluru FC.

“ATK are a good a team. Their team has improved from the first match and they have a good coach. The ATK game, for me, is the most important match of the season. We will try our best. We need to play like a team and I am sure we can win tomorrow,” Ferrando stated. 

“Steve (Coppell) did a good job when he was here.  He knows a lot of the players. I hope in front of him, we play well,” he added. 

Jamshedpur's new signings and additions have all clicked so far. Mario Arques already looks to be one of the signings of the season while the familiar face of Memo has offered him unconditional support in midfield. Sergio Cidoncha and Pablo Morgado have hit the ground running as well. 

Interestingly, Jamshedpur also has the most number of individual goal scorers (4) in the ISL this season. The team also have the most number of debutants (4) this season to score a goal as well. 

Coppell, meanwhile, has got off to a difficult start, as has been the case with his teams in the previous seasons as well. ATK succumbed to defeats in its first two games, but struck back with a 2-1 win against Delhi Dynamos.

ATK's lethal attack

Coppell's teams are usually solid at the back but John Johnson and Gerson Vieira are yet to hit the peak of their form after three games. The win against Delhi Dynamos, however, helped the side's forwards regain confidence. 

Balwant Singh and Noussair El Maimouni got on the scoresheet in ATK's last outing and Manuel Lanzarote looked to be back to his best. Kalu Uche was also instrumental in linking up attacks up front.

"Although it has just been two games, they (Jamshedpur) have made a solid start. We will be looking to press forward as well. It is a good challenge for us. We will look to pick up points," stated Coppell.

Tim Cahill's presence up front and his impending battle against seasoned campaigner Johnson makes for interesting viewing. Add Cidoncha to the mix and ATK defence will have its task cut out.