The Stallions romped to a commanding victory over the Bengal Tigers.
ATK succumbed to a 3-0 setback in Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 against FC Pune City at the Shree Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Saturday. Adil Khan, Diego Carlos and Rohit Kumar struck to inflict a fourth loss of the season on the defending champions to maintain their unbeaten run at home against the Kolkata-based outfit.
Addressing the media at the post-match press conference was ATK head coach, Teddy Sheringham, who admitted that the score-line in the match was justified.
“I think 3-0 is a fair reflection of the game,” the Englishman stated. “No complaints about the score. We started sloppily and after 20 minutes they could have been 2-0 up. And then they scored. It’s a tough uphill battle when you are playing against a good team like Pune. They deserved their goal, but we did not start playing until after that. And that’s not good enough.”
The 51-year-old did highlight the problems his team is facing. “We have got our best player out injured in Robbie Keane and our best Indian player out injured in Eugeneson Lyngdoh,” Sheringham explained “We are missing our top players. Add that to the fixture list; we have had seven of our first 10 league games away from home. For any team, that is going to take its toll on a team.”
He further continued, “We’ve got five games on the spin at home now. We have put ourselves in a bad position. If you get the five games at home early on, you have got a chance of being up there. We are in a bit of a dull place at the moment, and we have the games, but we put pressure on ourselves by having seven away games and causing our problems ourselves.”
Meanwhile, FC Pune City’s assistant coach Vladica Grujic was understandably pleased with his side’s performance. “Everything was impressive today on the field,” the Serbian said. “We played a very good game, we were very disciplined. We know how strong ATK is, but we found a way to win. Everything is going well.”
Ashique Kuruniyan, who has been a revelation for Pune this season missed the game, and Grujic lauded the talented forward while giving an update on his injury after the game. “Ashique is a very important player if you ask me,” he inferred. “A young player who grows up every day, in every training, in every game, and now we are having a little bit of problem with his injury. But, he will come back.”