ISL 2018-19 -- Steve Coppell says it's tough for Eugeneson Lyngdoh to get a start at ATK

THE ATK HEAD COACH Steve Coppell feels it's difficult to find a place for Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the starting line-up given the options he has in the midfield.

Photo Courtesy - ATK

Speaking to the reporters ahead of the upcoming match against Bengaluru FC, Coppell was asked by a TFG correspondent whether Eugeneson Lyngdoh's familiarity with the venue and the opponent team might see him get a more prominent role in the game. Coppell did not rule it out, but said,

"He's obviously a player who's, you know, he had his injury problems last year and he's finding it difficult to get into the team this year... the balance of foreign players and Indian players, trying to get that blend which is effective, and we have Pronay as well who is a current Indian international in the central midfield. With the foreign players we have it's very very competitive in the midfield. So, it's a tough call to try and squeeze all the players you want in the team, so that will be a late call for me."

This statement comes in the wake of a report published in a Bengali newspaper claiming Lyngdoh is disappointed with the lack of playing time in ATK and wants to leave the franchise.

When Lyngdoh was picked up from the ISL player draft by ATK in 2017, he was a regular at the Indian national team. Soon after suffered a serious injury that put him out for the rest of the season. This season, he has regained fitness but with Coppell choosing to mostly go with Pronay Halder and Lanzarote in the central midfield, Lyngdoh has only made 2 appearances as a late substitute for ATK in the ISL.

Lack of playing time has been a prime reason why he has not been called back to the national camp, despite being seen as one of the most important members of the Blue Tigers before his injury. This has led to him missing out on India's Asian Cup 2019 campaign, which he was eagerly looking forward to, having played an important role in the qualifiers for this tournament.

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