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Indian Super League |Thapa: Consistent and effective

Positive approach: Anirudh Thapa says the mood in the CFC camp is upbeat.

Positive approach: Anirudh Thapa says the mood in the CFC camp is upbeat.  

The India midfielder is looking forward to the summit clash

Anirudh Thapa has been the fulcrum of Chennaiyin FC’s (CFC) midfield and he has made everyone sit up and take notice in season six of the Indian Super League (ISL).

The 22-year-old creative midfielder from India has been consistent and effective in his box-to-box role. In fact, he was at his best in the first leg semifinal at home against FC Goa.

He produced a brilliant curling shot from outside the box to score the team’s second goal and then provided a fine assist to Lallianzuala Chhangte in CFC’s famous 4-1 victory.

Bleak period

As CFC locks horns with ATK in the ISL final on March 14 in Goa, Thapa looked back on the bleak period when the team was in the ninth spot after five matches, and how things turned around after the arrival of head coach Owen Coyle.

“When [Owen] Coyle came, every player was down. No one was doing well; both as a team and as an individual. I never thought we could make it [this far]. Coyle changed everything from the training session.

“He just said ‘it is just possible’ and made everyone believe that we can do that; that is the best thing. The training session’s intensity increased with Sandy [Stewart], the assistant coach coming in. They talked to the players individually and guided them by sharing their experiences,” said Thapa.

The India midfielder is looking forward to the summit clash but believes ATK has a good set of players and that it will not be easy.

“ATK is a good team as we have seen it throughout the season. They have a compact defence and are pretty good upfront.

“Roy Krishna, David Williams and Edu Garcia have been playing well. We can’t say that there is any weaknessess in ATK . Both teams are playing well and it’s a matter of who plays good football on the day.”

A different feeling

Thapa said playing the final without spectators at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda would be a different feeling.

“We haven’t played any match without them [fans]. If the fans were there, it would have been fun. It will be different without them as they have supported us when we were not doing well.”

Thapa said the mood in the camp was upbeat.

“We know where we have come from. Our form is really good. We need to go with our plan and everything will fall in line,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:22:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/indian-super-league-thapa-consistent-and-effective/article31052517.ece

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