ISL 2017-18: ATK’s Ashley Westwood - ISL and I-League important in their own right

The English coach expressed his disappointment given the manner in which his side capitulated in the final 30 minutes…

ATK were leading 3-1 against Delhi Dynamos at the hour mark however, the players failed to keep hold of their nerves and allowed the hosts to come back and win the tie in a spectacular fashion.

Coach Ashley Westwood shared his thoughts on why his players couldn’t deal with the pressure piled on by the Delhi attackers.

“The second goal they scored to make it 3-2, I felt lots of players’ head dropped. We were still winning at that point but when your luck is down and things don’t go well, heads can drop fast.

“We settled into two banks of four really and we expected to see the game out. As a defender, you have to love defending but we left a lot of spaces for them to exploit. As defenders, you have to enjoy the art of defending. Take John Terry for example. As a fullback too, you just want to make the last ditch tackles and love everything about defending,” said the former Bengaluru FC coach.

Ryan Taylor was substituted in the first half as he seemed to have picked up a knock.

“We tried him, fair play to him. He wanted to give it a go with a groin injury he had picked up earlier,” he said.

Westwood opined that while the ISL is a bit ahead of the I-League in terms of the better quality of foreign players and television coverage, both leagues are very much important for the development of Indian football.

“It’s hard to compare, When I came, I-League was the only league. ISL is a little stronger according to me. I think Super Cup will answer this question when it starts. With the quality of the foreign players and the Indian players coming in, the ISL I feel is just a little stronger at the moment with all the television coverage and fan support.

“However, the I-League is important too. During the ISL players’ draft, so many players went unsold. I think around 50. If not for the I-League, these guys might not have found a team to play for. So that is why you don’t want one to be better than the other. Both are important in their own right,” he signed off.

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