Hope ISL goes on for nine months next season onwards: Delhi Dynamos coach

Miguel Angel Portugal, the Delhi Dynamos coach

Kolkata, November 12: Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Angel Portugal hopes the Indian Super League (ISL) expands further and becomes a nine-month affair from next season.

"Now the league is better," he said. "More teams in the league will mean more competition. It's growing every year which is good for the country. I hope the duration of the league next season increases to nine months."

Miguel dismissed suggestions that star signing Kalu Uche would not be available for their opener against FC Pune City November 22. The Nigerian picked up a knock last week and has been rested by the Dynamos to recover for their game next week.

"There was a little injury but he is fine and will be available for first match. He had a groin injury," he said at the ISL Media Day event here.

Indian players are pretty good, according to the Dynamos coach. Asked about his thoughts on the first match against Pune City, he said: "I know their team. I know Lucca who played in Atletico Paranaense with me. Marcelinho is a former Delhi Dynamos player. (Ranko) Popovic plays his team in a 4-3-3 formation. I want a winning mentality in my team."

When asked about the infrastructure in India, the coach said the difference is in organisation. And about the team's strategy, Miguel said: "I like possession-style football but the reason is for better finishing for goals. We don't want possession for our enjoyment. It depends on the opponent as well. If you have possession, you can control the game. It's very important.

"But the most important thing is to score goals. In football, you cannot stick to one tactic. I compete for winning. Ball possession is important for winning not for enjoyment."

The former Real Madrid 'B' team coach mentioned that he tried to lure Javi Lara to join his side but the Spaniard, who played for ATK last season, wasn't keen on returning to India. "I know all the players who played here last season. Lara is in Cordoba. He didn't want to come. I wanted Spanish players because they understand my philosophy," he said.

Story first published: Sunday, November 12, 2017, 15:39 [IST]
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