Mitra Kukar coach Cooper: Professionalism needed in Indonesian football

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began his spell in charge of with a hard-fought 1-0 loss to Persebaya Surabaya at Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium.

“I’m happy with my first match here,” Cooper told Football Channel Asia after the match. “It’s disappointing that we lost but I’m happy with my team’s performance.

“Mitra Kukar have many youth players, and in my experience we need time develop the team in the long term.”

Cooper, who has previously had success in Asia with Thailand’s Buriram United, did not hesitate to point out structural problems within the Indonesian system.

“It was quite disappointing that I couldn’t field my best starting eleven in the game because four of my players can’t play due to administration problem,” Cooper lamented.

“They informed me about the problem just in the morning before kick-off.

“I couldn’t do anything other than made an experimental line-up as you saw today because we don’t have many players who were ready, even on the bench.

“I hope they can handle it more professionally and obviously I do not want it to happen again in the future, because it can disrupt the team preparation.”