ISL 2020-21: ATK Mohun Bagan players give their insights ahead of NorthEast United FC clash
First Published Jan 1, 2021, 5:21 PM IST
ATK Mohun Bagan is currently placed at the top of the table, as it is the so-called defending champion of the Indian Super League. It takes on NorthEast United FC on Sunday, as the latter is currently placed in the sixth. NEU is one of the oldest teams to have never won the title yet.
ATK Mohun Bagan is on a glorious run, as it begins the new year by staying atop the table of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL). The side has played eight games and has won five, along with two draws and a loss.
As for its next encounter, it would take on sixth-placed NorthEast United FC on Sunday. Ahead of the match, a few ATKMB players spoke on what the side looks forward in the new year and their plans against NEU.
Club defender, Tiri aims to work hard in this new year, as he says, “My goal in the new year is to work harder and correct my mistakes as well as give my best to the team. We don’t think we will get any extra advantage against the Northeast as we are playing our first match of the year from the top of the league table. We are not under pressure as well. This is a new match and therefore need to start in a new way. We have to try not to make the same mistakes that we made in the previous match.”
“After playing against the Northeast, we have a match against Mumbai City FC. That team is competing with us neck to neck in the league table. But, we are not thinking about the Mumbai match now. Our coach’s philosophy is to think match by match. That’s what we try to do,” added Tiri.
Fellow defender, Pritam Kotal, wished that life was back to normal, as he said, “Overall, I hope that in this New Year, our lives will be normal again after being free from Corona. Football will return to its own rhythm. Fans will have the opportunity to watch our game sitting in the gallery. And, my goal is to give the trophy to the team I am playing for and make myself more consistent.”
“Mumbai is competing neck to neck with us in the league table. We have to win the Northeast match before that match. If we win this match, we will reach to a good place in the league table and then, everyone’s confidence will increase. I want to start the New Year with victory. It is very important to get the three points before the Mumbai match,” he spoke on the match.
“The Northeast is a strong team. The team made draw in most of the matches. The team plays with a tightening defence. So, we have to be careful. We have to try to score goals from set-pieces. I don’t want the match to be draw at the beginning of the year. We did not play poorly with Chennaiyin. There will be one or two draw matches in the league. We are at the top of the league table, keeping that in mind we will play against the North East,” he further added.
Meanwhile, defensive midfielder, Pronay Halder, eyes a national call-up, as he says, “My hope in this new year is to be called to become the part of the Indian team. I will play consistently well in ATK Mohun Bagan. Avoiding injury, I will be able to give the best.”
“We did not play poorly in the Chennaiyin match. We played better than many other matches. This was a tactical match. They made some good moves. But, one point is not bad. I want to start the year with a win. All the teams in the Indian Super League are strong. North East too. They pick up the attacks along with the wing. We have to use the goal opportunities. Our goal will be to hold the top position in the league table,” he concluded.
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