Kolkata: Back to winning ways after a string of losses, defending champions ATK will hope to continue their momentum when they face visitors Delhi Dynamos at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium on Saturday.
It was a top of the table encounter when the two teams last met but things have changed a bit too much for both who have undergone an overhaul of their entire set-up along with their fortune it seems. Placed in the bottom half of the 10 men table, a win however can take them close to the top six and perhaps that is why ATK head coach Teddy Sheringham declined the pressure that has mounted up.
Aware that a win can put them on the seventh position, Sheringham said that they are confident and motivated.
“We give a good account of ourselves against Delhi and then prepare for the next game. It’s as simple as that in professional football. I’ve played on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day so nothing changes,” said the former Manchester United star.
Assistant coach Shakti Chauhan, who will be managing the side in the absence of coach Miguel Portugal however promised that “you will see a different Delhi Dynamos tomorrow.”
Both the head coach and defender Gabriel Cichero has been suspended for this crucial away fixture while goalkeeper Albino Gomes and skipper Kalu Ulche have been left out owing to injuries.
A great start with a 3-2 win over Pune things have however gone downhill for the ‘Lions’ since then who now gone without a win in the past four matches that saw them ship in 12 goals while scoring only two.
Chauhan did admit to the defeat but added that, “We have been unlucky” at the same time “Some poor decision making too has contributed” to their current last position. The coach will not be available but it will be his ideas on the field said chauhan warning his opponents, “The players want to make a statement by winning three points.”
ATK’s season although has not been as bad as the Dynamos, it has been for the first time in four seasons that ATK owned the last position. The 1-4 defeat to Pune in their only home encounter was their worst defeat ever, but the two time champions have bounced up with a crucial win against Mumbai City and Sheringham concluded saying, “we now need to do it regularly if we want to make something out of this league.”