Kochi, Oct 4 (IANS) Kerala Blasters will be aiming for a quick reversal of fortunes in their second Indian Super League (ISL) football match against Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) here on Wednesday after having lost their first match away at Guwahati to NorthEast United.
Blasters coach Steve Coppell said he is eagerly looking forward to experiencing the lively atmosphere at their home ground — the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
“People have been talking to me about this since I arrived in India so am looking forward to it,” said Coppell in a release on Tuesday, on the eve of his team’s second round clash against the former champions.
A lacklustre Blasters succumbed to a 0-1 defeat against NorthEast in the opening game on October 1.
Coppell admitted his team was not unified yet and identified losing possession cheaply as the prime reason for getting beaten at Guwahati.
“We kept giving the ball away. It was may be first night nerves, may be just playing away from home. I really can’t understand. But obviously we have to be better in front of our own supporters. We have to keep the ball better. It’s important that we have possession of the ball,” said Coppell.
ATK approach the match after drawing their first match 2-2 against title holders Chennaiyin FC at home in a game of fluctuating fortunes.
Their new Spanish coach Jose Molina said playing the tournament’s first away game doesn’t change their outlook, as they will play to win and not harbour defensive thoughts.
“Football is the same whether you play at home or away. The plan is the same and we will try to have possession, try to fight, try to defend and try to win in the end. We do not have any different strategy,” Molina said.
The Spaniard was also keen to witness how his team will react under the collective vocal might of a partisan away crowd, daring his players to view the intimidating atmosphere as a challenge that needs to be conquered.
“I know there will be a great atmosphere with 50,000 supporters but it’s always good for the players to play in that atmosphere,” said Molina.
ATK’s defensive midfielder Ofentse Nato is likely to sit out the match as he hasn’t yet recovered from his injury.
They are also sweating on the availability of defender Pablo Gallardo.
Both teams ideally would have wanted to begin their campaign with wins, but having failed to do so, anything less than three points will disappoint them further.