The ATK boss acknowledged that opponents Kerala Blasters have changed a lot since the team’s met earlier in the season…
Atlético de Kolkata will be looking to book a semis berth in the Indian Super League when they host Kerala Blasters FC at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday. ATK currently occupy third spot in the standings with 18 points from 12 games and head into the contest knowing that a draw or win against the Blasters will be enough to secure a third consecutive semis spot. Kolkata won their previous meeting against the Blasters earlier in the season courtesy of a Javi Lara goal and will be looking to do the double over the men in yellow on Tuesday.
Speaking to the media ahead of their second meeting this season, ATK head coach Jose Molina opined that a lot has changed within the Kerala ranks since then given they’ve won three out of their last four matches. “I think Kerala started their season playing more of long balls and now they’re playing with more combination, they have good players and they’re improving that’s why they’re still there in the competition for the semi-final places. In the beginning, they suffered two defeats and now they’re playing well and are in competition for the semis and I’m sure tomorrow will be a very good match because we have improved too, we have confidence in our players to do the job tomorrow and we will try to win,” Molina said.
When asked if that gives him confidence considering how frequently his side are creating goal-scoring chances despite not always converting them, Molina said, “No (laughs) what gives me confidence is their hard work and their willingness to keep improving and help ATK. Of course, we had a good game in Goa, we scored two goals and we could have scored more. The players have to keep improving and play well, defend well it doesn’t matter who they play, they should score as many goals as possible and suffer as less as possible.”
Regarding his squad and any injury issues Molina said, “They are getting fit and ready. Sereno is not 100% but may feature in the 18. Otherwise the last XI against Goa is certain to be retained. Still I will take a final call on the XI tomorrow after having a close look on their recovery and discussing with the medical team.”
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Report by Khel Now Correspondent Kushankur Rony Rakshit. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.