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Mumbai host struggling ATK

By Pti
Mumbai will look to clinch their third straight win at home. (Photo credit: ISL)

Mumbai, Dec 16: Mumbai City FC would look to record their third straight win at home when they on ATK in an Indian Super League fixture here on Sunday (December 17).

Mumbai had outclassed FC Goa 2-1 in their first home game and then beat Chennaiyin FC 1-0 last Sunday. With seven points, Mumbai are on the fifth spot with two wins in five games, while ATK are languishing at the bottom of the league table and are still searching for their first win.

The home side have an experienced goal-keeper in Amrinder Singh, whose performance will be crucial if they have to stop the ATK strikers. Mumbai have a good mix of mid-fielders and defenders like Abhinas Ruidas, Thaigo Santos, Achillee Emana and they will have to play their part on Sunday. They also have strikers like Balwant Singh, Rafa Jorda, Brazilian Everton Santos who play attacking football and will be dangerous for the opposition to stop.

Another advantage for Mumbai is that their players are playing after a week. Mumbai need to begin well right from the start and not let their opponents dominate. Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes admitted that ATK were a tough side as their playing style was different.

"We have to produce more of our quality game, if we do that, it will be possible to continue our home run. We will up against a tough team. We have to be focussed because they play with a different approach than other teams. After the Kerala game, the players understood what our direction should be in terms of play," Guimaraes said.

"May be our approach is different from other teams; we have seen teams make 3-4 changes after games, but we are not like that. Just like last season, we did not alter our approach much between games and we will stick to that this season," he added.

The coach heaped praise on Emana for his performance in the last game. "He (Emana) has been able to adapt to the game and also the team is starting to understand his game and where he can be more productive. Last game he showed to all of us that he came here to help Mumbai City FC to obtain their goal. He showed why teams fight very hard to obtain services of players like him," quipped the coach. Meanwhile, ATK need to put up a spirited show if they have to register their first win. ATK also have good forwards like India player Robin Singh and Jayesh Rane and the duo needs to fire big time tomorrow.

ATK head coach Teddy Sheringham admitted that being at the bottom puts pressure. "We have not got a win and that we may be at the bottom of the table certainly puts a little bit of pressure. We have caused our own problems, something that we have to rectify. We defend and attack as a team," Sheringham said.

"So, if we have lost two games and drawn two games, we obviously going to be looking at your defensive qualities. But I don't blame anyone because if you are leaving your goal-keeper or full backs open, that is something to do with the whole team, we need to improve in all departments," he said.

Describing Mumbai as a "very strong side", the ATK head coach said their opponents have got a of lot qualities. Asked if the ATK management was miffed with him, Sheringham said the management has been supportive. "No pressure, we talk after every game, they have been very supportive. Because they have seen the way we have attacked (in the) games, how we could have won games, with little bit of luck. We have taken the game to every opponent so we are not lacking in confidence," he said.

He also termed the contribution of Ashley Westwood as "invaluable". "He (Ashley) has been invaluable, he has a lot of experience and knowledge of Indian football, and if ever there is a chance to lean on him, then I do. Together we try and come out with new ideas," the coach signed off.

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Story first published: Saturday, December 16, 2017, 20:14 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 16, 2017
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