Kolkata: Kolkata based franchise ATK has been one of the most successful sides in the Indian Super League. Both of it’s previous Spanish Coaches Antonio Habas and Jose Molina have led the team to title glory in their first season with the club and newly appointed coach Teddy Sheringham has the onus on him to create the same magic with an entirely new management and a new set of players.
Coming on the back of a hugely successful career that saw him play for some of Europe’s top clubs like Manchester United and Tottenham, Teddy however admits that he ‘is under pressure’ of meeting up expectations that the previous ATK teams has set. “In football you are always under pressure. I have put myself in the pressure ever since I have taken the job. My name is on the line, to do well. I am working for ATK and we are under pressure to win,” he said at the official ATK Jersey release in Kolkata on Monday.
The 1998-99 Champions League winne, who scored one of United’s two last minute goals in the 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in the CL final, also added that the team had a great pre-season, winning all four of their matches, the training seasons have been intense and every one is excited to play their part in the ISL this year.
Another Tottenham legend Robbie Keane who is the marquee player of ATK this season and has been named the captain called the team combination a perfect blend of youth and experience.
The former Irish international is also impressed with the Indian players Eugenson Lyngdoh and Hitesh Sharma among others. Calling the Indian no. 7 a typical ‘European style player’ he said, “Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who plays for the Indian team, is a fantastic player. The way he uses both of his feet on the ball, makes him a European kind of player. Young Hitesh is also good, I am impressed with many Indian players in the squad and Hitesh and Eugeneson are only two among them.”
Former English International Teddy who has scored 366 career goals and has made 51 appearances for the ‘Three Lions’ also echoed on the same line. Lauding the Indian players as enthusiastic he said, “The Indian players have adapted very well to my way of playing football. I am very impressed with their learning curve, they want to learn and get better. My players have certainly done that and I am glad.”
Meanwhile principal owner of ATK, Sanjeev Goenka also announced that the Kolkata franchise will be giving out 10, 000 tickets for Rs.100 each per ticket for the first match, as a gesture to the fans, on the sidelines of the event.
The defending champions will kick off their campaign on the opening day of the ISL against last year’s finalists Kerala Blasters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on October 17.