Steve Coppell, the ATK head coach, expressed elation at his team’s persistence in its 1-0 defeat of FC Pune City at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday. Gerson Vieira’s 82nd minute header allowed ATK to collect the three points and occupy the sixth spot in the Indian Super League (ISL) points table.
“To be fair to Pune, they had their selection problems. They made it difficult for us. There might have been the possibility of frustration creeping in, but we kept on going and, obviously, it was a very important three points for us,” Coppell was quoted as saying at the post-match press conference by www.indiansuperleague.com .
Coppell reserved praise for ATK’s midfielder Manuel Lanzarote. He declared, “I think that was his best performance. In possession, he’s terrific. You just sort of switch on (when he has the ball) because you know something is going to happen. But today, he added different qualities to his game. He was dropping deeper, he was making passes, putting in good tackles. He was involved in a lot of things. He had a couple of set-piece opportunities. He hit the post. He invested himself a lot in the game. I think that’s the best way of putting it.”
Pradyum Reddy, Pune’s assistance coach, expressed disappointment at the defeat but admitted his wards could “hold their heads high.”
He said, “I thought the circumstances were tough, and it's a tough place to come. The boys were obviously a bit nervous to start with and made some mistakes. But over the course of the game, they were good. They can hold their heads high. I think they did themselves proud.”
His team, languishing at the bottom of the points table, next plays Jamshedpur FC at home on November 21. Three days later, ATK takes on Mumbai City FC in Mumbai.