ISL 2017/18: Missing Keane will throw plans off guard, says ATK Coach Sheringham

[caption id="attachment_58039" align="aligncenter" width="580"]3943 ATK coach Teddy Sheringham feel absence of Robbie Keane will be a huge blow to his side in the first couple of matches of ISL | Image: XtraTime[/caption]

Kolkata: Missing Robbie Keane for the first few matches in the ISL will be a massive blow to his team, feels ATK Coach Teddy Sheringham. According to the former Manchester United player, “He (Keane) is out for a couple of weeks as he has picked up an Achilles problem in Dubai. He’s been taking a few injections for it but will be out for the first few weeks. Carl Baker also has the same problem. He is also having a scan on his calf. So we will be assessing that in a next couple of days as well.

On being asked whether Keane’s absence will throw his plans off guard, Sheringham said, “It does a little bit as Robbie was a key part of our plans.  He was obviously the first player that I got in. For him to be out for the first few matches is a massive blow for us. But having said that it opens the door for somebody else and I have got no qualms about someone else coming in and getting in his shoes and doing a great job for the team.

Spaniard Jordi Figueras Montel will lead the team in the absence of Keane for the first couple of matches.

The defending champions will start their campaign against last year’s runners up Kerala Blasters. The match was shifted at the last moment from Kolkata to Kerala. The atmosphere one understands will be hostile as a packed house will be rooting for the Yellow army. Talking about the match against Blasters, Sheringham said, “We are not worried at all as we have to play them home and away. To play them away from home in front of 60000 fans will be challenging. To play in such a hostile atmosphere makes or breaks a player. That is what football is all about. We are making sure the players are ready for it.”

The British Coach once again reiterated to win the championship will be his ultimate target.

“There is nothing else other than winning in football. To finish second, third at the end of the day is not good enough. We are all here to win,” said the gaffer.

The former Manchester United footballer reckons Bengaluru FC will be a strong contender in the tournament as they will be better prepared considering the team has a settled look.

“Bengaluru has a huge advantage as they have played all throughout the summer. They will understand each other a lot more than us. That is why the pre-season was so important for us getting to understand each and every player,” signed off Sheringham.

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