Atlético de Kolkata began their 2016 Hero Indian Super League campaign with a draw against defending champions Chennaiyin FC at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday, and in less than 72 hours they find themselves facing Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Wednesday…

ATK go into the match as favourites, rightly so, as they have won their previous three encounters against the Blasters. However, head coach Francisco Molina isn’t overconfident, and speaking to the media on Tuesday admitted that they will have to work hard to get the better of a side really good at passing.

“Last season is the past, this is a new season with new coaches and new players. Every match is different. ATK won last year but to win again tomorrow we will have to work really hard. We have to focus really hard for tomorrow and forget the past.

“As long as we work together and play as one unit it will not be difficult and we will need to do that in the next game as KBFC are a very good passing side.”

The former Spain goalkeeper was also all praise for star midfielder Sameehg Doutie who scored in the 2-2 draw against the Super Machans but he stayed away from giving the South African the status of most important player in the team. “He scored a good goal and was very good in the last match but for me it’s a team game and all players will have an equal role. I don’t think we should play around one player. But he is a very important player for us. It is about 11 players working together as one unit,” he said.

Molina also turned down a suggestion from the media that the outcome of the match could heavily be influenced by the marquee players from both sides, Helder Postiga for ATK and Aaron Hughes for the Blasters. “I think it’s not going to be a match-up between two players, of course they are marquee players and the most important players, but it’s not one on one, it’s 11 on 11,” the 46-year-old said.

Commenting on the fitness status of his team, Molina also informed that defensive midfielder Ofentse Nato will again be unavailable for selection for the tie tomorrow.

Report and Photo Via ISL Media