ISL 2017: ATK eyeing to register their first win at any cost

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Internet Desk: A resurgent Mumbai City FC host a desperate ATK at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Sunday.

Defending champions ATK are still searching for their first win of in the fourth season of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). Teddy Sheringham’s men have not managed to garner a win in four outings, drawing twice and losing as many to remain rooted at the bottom of the table. Shockingly enough, they have just two points in what has been a torrid start to the defence of their title.

Mumbai City had lost two of their first three games, but have picked up four points from a possible six in their last two matches. One can say that Alexandre Guimarães seems to have finally found a way to make his players tick the right boxes.

“Our first series of away games were a tough set of fixtures and we had last-minute problems like injuries and other things. We then made a decision to put the team in a way that we saw in pre-season and at that moment we started to play better and have more balance in the team. We have to continue to perform that way and produce more quality. If we do that, I am sure we can continue to be strong at home. We face a team which is tough. They play with a different approach than the rest of the teams. But after the Kerala Blasters game (1-1), the players understood what is our direction of playing. Glad to be in that state of development,” the Chilean head coach said.

ATK’s previous game saw them suffer a heartbreaking loss to Chennaiyin FC with Jeje Lalpekhlua scoring a winner in injury time. The bright spark was certainly the slotting in of Robbie Keane, who set up a goal. Make no mistake, he will once again be at the forefront of anything good that the Kolkata side produce on Sunday.

Sheringham admitted to a bit of pressure, especially given the fact that they’re the defending champions, but also stated that he had the management’s full support.

“They’ve seen the way we’ve attacked games and could have won with a little bit of luck. We also conceded a couple of silly goals, a couple of deflections as well, but it is up to us to stop those situations. We’ve caused our own problems and worked hard to rectify that. If a goalkeeper or the full-backs are left open, it’s the entire team’s fault,” Sheringham said.

ATK will take heart from the fact that they’re one of only three teams to have played four matches and even a point will take them off the bottom of the table. A win can take them three places above into eighth position. The defending champions need to get their act together, but Mumbai City will certainly not make it easy in their own backyard.

 

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