KOLKATA, NOVEMBER 25: ATK coach Teddy Sheringham is looking forward to playing in front of a capacity home crowd at the massive Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan and pocketing the first win in the Hero Indian Super League on Sunday.
“We are here to impress our fans. Thousands will turn up for the game and we will want to put up a show for those fans. I would love to play in front of a full house,” Sheringham said during the pre-match press conference.
ATK started their campaign with a goalless draw away against Kerala Blasters FC and will be keen to start winning at home so that his team has the necessary momentum to qualify for the play-offs.
“When we play at home, If we win, that makes the away matches much easier for us,” he explained.
Even though ATK played a goalless draw against Kerala Blaster, there were still lot of positives for Sheringham’s side. ATK dominated the game with Conor Thomas and Eugeneson Lyngdoh taking charge of midfield. ATK passed the ball around with purpose and could have taken all three points if some of the chances they created on the night had been taken.
While ATK’s star signing Robbie Keane has still not recovered from an injury, Sheringham believes the Kolkata side still has enough firepower in the team to hurt the opposition. “I won’t say there is a lack of strike force. (Njazi) Kuqi had a great last game. Robin Singh has also been impressive in training. He is all raring to go,” said Sheringham.
After a disappointing 2-3 loss against Delhi Dynamos at home in their first match, FC Pune City know they will have to be at their best to secure a positive result against a well-drilled ATK.
“We’ll play to win the points. It won’t be easy though given they have a strong side. They will also have a strong support of their home fans. But of course, we’ll try to do everything to win all three points. We’ll have to do it on the pitch. I hope we can make it difficult for our opposition,” said Serbian tactician Ranko Popovic.
While Popovic knows it won’t be an easy task against ATK, he will take some heart from FC Pune City’s record against ATK. The two-time champions have managed only one win over Pune in their previous six encounters.