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ISL Media

Westwood aims to finish higher, Portugal looks to win

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The hosts will look to acquire three points against the Bengal Tigers to climb up the standings.

ATK travel to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi to take on Delhi Dynamos FC in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 on Saturday. The Kolkata-based outfit are winless in their last six games, having lost five of those. A loss against the Lions would mean that they will drop further down in the standings.

Speaking to the media during the pre-match press-conference was ATK’s interim head coach Ashley Westwood and he spoke about what would motivate the team henceforth. “The motivation is to try and improve,” he stated. “Obviously, we have not been getting results. But we are professionals, you want to win football matches. We want to finish as high as possible. The players have aspirations for next season and I am sure they would want to improve themselves.”

The Englishman also pointed out that as one of the most successful Hero ISL clubs, a lot is always expected from ATK. “We are not happy with how things panned out this season as we are a club that is expected to be in the top four,” he remarked. “But this season, we have not been able to replicate what we did last season. So, we have to be better.”


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He further elaborated, “There was a lot of expectations. And that’s what happens when you are one of the big clubs. There is a guarantee you have potential. ATK is one of the bigger clubs. They have a good fan-base and good history. And everyone expects top four for us.”

Before concluding, the 41-year-old delivered some bad news on the injury front. “We are waiting on a fitness test on Martin Paterson, but he is possibly going to miss the game,” Westwood revealed. “Tom Thorpe will also be missing, as will Zequinha. So that’s three foreigners who are out of the game. We hope to put five foreigners out there, but there is no guarantee.”

Meanwhile, Delhi head coach Miguel Portugal made his team’s objectives for the clash clear. “In the last few matches we have been playing well, and getting some results,” he stated. “And we want to win the match against ATK. Our goal is to win. Now we have the opportunity to win and make the fans and the president happy.”

While commenting on his expectations from the final few games of their campaign, Portugal added: “We want to win every match. We want to have a good finish to the season, and end in a strong position. We have prepared very well for the three matches. But tomorrow, the most important thing is to win against ATK because then we can go over them in the table. I think we are playing well in every match. But we can play better. All the teams in the league are good, and we have to give our best in all the matches.”

Published: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:32 AM IST

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