ATK continue their unbeaten run away from home as they edged past Chennaiyin FC 3-2 on Sunday evening. The Kolkata outfit completed the double over the defending champions with two penalties by Manuel Lanzarote in each half.
Jayesh Rane, the former Chennaiyin FC midfielder, put the visitors into the lead with a strike from long range which whistled into the net.
“After we scored the goal, to go 3-1 up, we should have seen the game out quietly. The mistake which gave them the second goal also created the atmosphere. It transformed from what had been a flat period of football. We had to hand in there with some terrific headers under a lot of pressure, Andre (Bikey) especially. He almost redeemed himself. It is pleasing three points to win three points.
“They needed the three points. We knew they would be pushing us,” said the experienced coach.
ATK looked much better in attack with Rane, Balwant Singh, Sharma and Lanzarote combing well.
“We haven’t done anything transformational in training. The first goal we conceded looked to be out of play. We started really well. If anything, we made the game too open. It was almost end-to-end at certain stages. That’s not playing to our strengths. We were a little bit cavalier,” he mentioned.
ATK have loaned out Malsawmzuala and Sheikh Faiaz to Jamshedpur FC and Mohun Bagan respectively. Coppell was questioned if he would make some additions to his squad in the winter transfer window.
“We got a full squad of 25. You’re looking to improve your squad. I’m sure things will be done in January,” he replied.
Sharma was afforded a rare start by Coppell and the former Mumbai FC midfielder didn’t disappoint by putting in a decent shift.
“Hitesh Sharma was certainly terrific. He has been patient for his chance. He was good with his runs while bringing the ball in and out of the defence. Even skill wise, he was very technical,” said Coppell.
ATK next face NorthEast United in an away fixture on December 8th in Guwahati.