ISL 2018-19: Steve Coppell - We are going all in against FC Goa

The ATK head coach knows a draw will not be enough for his side against FC Goa....

The margins for error are getting smaller for ATK as the race for the Indian Super League (ISL) playoff spots hots up but coach Steve Coppell is keeping a cool head ahead of the clash against FC Goa.

“It is a crucial match in terms of consequences but you approach the game like you approach every game. We want to win. So, we try and prepare to win. We cannot be any more intense then we have been in the last 15 games. It is a process which has been going on since the start of the season and we hope for a good result,” the Englishman stated.

Goa have only beaten ATK once in ISL history but Coppell believes that statistic will count for little on Thursday.

“Psychologically I suppose it makes you feel a little better. But once the whistle blows tomorrow and the game starts, it will make little difference. Goa are a very good team. We respect them and the abilities they have individually and collectively. We know we have to be on the top of our game to get a positive result tomorrow. We are in a position where we have an opportunity. We are grateful for that opportunity and will do our best to take it,” explained Coppell.

Currently in sixth spot in the league table, Coppell has promised to go ‘all in’ against the Gaurs on Thursday in a bid to push for the top-four.

“Well over the season, we haven’t had an easy game. You come to Goa and see the players they have, they are very good and have a great coach who organises them very well. But our task is more or less defined. For us to be in control of own destiny, we need to win. So we will try to win the game and try to create as many goal-scoring opportunities,” he said.

“We will try to do what a lot of teams have failed to do which is keep Goa quiet. Had we come here earlier this season, a draw could have been seen as a good result but for us tomorrow, realistically a draw is not a good result. To use a poker expression, we are all in.”

Coppell made over 300 appearances for Manchester United over the course of his playing career and the former winger has backed interim-coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to keep the job full-time despite the Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

“He has done magnificently well to come here from literally the cold of Norway. He has got history at the club, he understands the club. He understands how the club is run when it is was successful every season, when success was demanded and anticipated. So he knows the pressure. He has won now 12 games I think,” said Coppell.

“He got a little humbled last night by PSG but I still think United are capable of going to Paris and win 3-0. Earlier in the season, there wasn’t a great deal of optimism around the club, He has changed the mentality, not just the fans but also the players. And now they look like different players to the ones they were at the beginning of the season. In terms of giving him the job, I would certainly give him the job. He is United and has the United mentality.

“If you look at recent managers, they have not been the perfect fit for United. Jose Mourinho I love because he has been so successful and he won trophies with United too. Louis Van Gaal has won trophies everywhere else. David Moyes had done very well at Everton and you could say was being personally groomed for the job by Sir Alex (Ferguson). Solskjaer is a United man through and through and he is surrounded by United men.  I would certainly give him the job without hesitation.”