ISL 2018-19: Steve Coppell- Every time ATK get into a rhythm, there is a break

ATK coach Steve Coppell thinks that the international break is going to have a 'sizeable' effect on teams...

ATK continued their unbeaten streak when they held NorthEast United to a 0-0 draw at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday evening.

Head coach Steve Coppell thought that his team did a decent job to hold the Highlanders in a tough away fixture. 

"I think Guwahati is a difficult place. If you come here and commit yourselves then they will take advantage. I can't remember them create any great deal, apart from some shots from distance. Whereas, look at what we did. Yeah, it was not prolific but I think we did have some good opportunities. It was a tight game between two probably evenly matched teams," said Coppell. 

ATK have had the ill fortune of witnessing their strikers getting sidelined with long-term injuries as both Kalu Uche and Emiliano Alfaro are on the sick list. But the former Jamshedpur FC coach does not want to use that as an excuse for drawing a blank in three of their last four matches. 

Manuel Lanzarote ATK

"It is bound to have an effect. But I think Balwant tonight was excellent. He led the lines well by himself and I was pleased with what he did. But we are going to lose players as it is a part of football. I am not going to complain and let us just get on with it.," stated Coppell. 

The 63-year old manager heaped praise on teenager Komal Thatal who has found regular minutes at ATK this season.

"I find Komal to be level-headed and sensible. I don't think if people write about him he is going to be carried away. He has been very humble and is determined to improve and get better," said Coppell. 

ATK will play their last game against Bengaluru FC on December 13 before the Indian Super League (ISL) goes into a long international break for almost six weeks. But the British tactician did not seem to be pleased with the length of the break.

"I think the break will have a sizeable effect. It is probably six weeks before we start playing again. Six weeks away, it will be difficult to come back and re-organise. The six games are going to be vital for everybody. There have been international breaks and now a six-week break. Every time we get into a rhythm of games there is a break. We would like to finish strong against Bengaluru and regroup in early January to prepare for the final six games," concluded Coppell.