The sixth edition of ISL is now on it’s way to the business end of the season. The Kolkata based franchise ATK are going to host Kerala Blasters tonight at VYBK. Since they lost at Kochi on 20th October against Kerala Blasters, the two time ISL champions ATK have made a marvelous come back to the competition with just one loss, 3 draws and 6 wins as they set themselves in the third position playing one match less. On the other side Kerala Blasters didn’t have a great journey after a fantastic start at their home. With just 2 wins currently they are now at 8th position on the table.
With their second win against last boys Hyderabad FC with a massive difference of 5-1 Kerala would have definitely boosted their confidence but ATK gaffer Habas looked confident in the pre-match press conference yesterday. When he was asked about their first match against Kerala he refused to think about that match and claimed that both teams have changed a lot after that match and his team has gained more compatibility and flexibility with time. He also claimed in the first match, he didn’t know the Kerala team but now he is well aware of his opponents. Well it seemed he definitely studied Kerala Blasters in their other matches by his statements.
The key success of this team is based upon it’s former Wellington Phoenix duo Roy Krishna & David Williams. With 13 goals combined, they are the top performers of this season for the two time champions. But unfortunately David underwent a thigh injury in the last match and probably is going to miss the match against Kerala. When Habas was asked about his condition he said ,“We don’t know whether Williams will play. We will decide before the match. But my idea of football is not dependent on individuals”. But he confirmed that he never depend on one player. He has a team and he will always go for win against every team.
ATK coach was also looking coaxed by the two new signings in the form of Mandi Sosa and Victor Mongil. He praised them and told they added extra strength to his team in the last two matches.
The new recruitment of the team and former Wellington Phoenix player Mandi was also present at the conference. He expressed his pleasure to play against his old colleagues Roy & David. He also admired the Indian players with mentioning the names of Pritam, Prabir and Arindam. He also liked the young talent of the team Sumit Rathi who claimed the ‘man of the match’ award in the last match. Mandi said, “Sumit is a good player. He has good things and ideas. I think he will beselected to the national team soon.”