ATK

ISL 2017: ATK, Jamshedpur desperate for a win to survive

[caption id="attachment_62268" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Hero ISL M37 - ATK v FC Goa Robbie Keane will be the key for ATK tomorrow. Image Source: ISL[/caption]

Kolkata: ATK have been below par by their own standards this season in the Hero Indian Super League. The defending champions find themselves in an unfamiliar eighth place with just seven games in hand. But interim head coach Ashley Westwood believes the team can still make the playoffs, even if his injury-ravaged team fail to get the right result when they host Jamshedpur FC at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata, on Sunday.

"We need a win for confidence and for team morale. But I would still say we don't need to win all the games we have left. Even if we lose tomorrow's game, I will say we are still not out of the competition," Westwood said during the pre-match press conference.

Westwood took over as interim head coach after the club parted ways with Teddy Sheringham. But the change in coach didn't bring any change in results for ATK. In his first game in charge as the interim coach, Westwood saw his team go down 1-2 to Chennaiyin FC at home. And to make matters worse, some of his key players limped off during the game. Both Portuguese midfielder Zequinha and defender Ryan Taylor came off in the game to add to the long list of injured players at ATK which includes star striker Robbie Keane.

“We have injury concerns about some of the foreign players but you can only play five foreign and we have them," he said.

Jamshedpur FC are also coming on the back of a loss. Steve Coppell's team went down to FC Pune City in their last match but a against ATK will see Jamshedpur FC, who are currently fifth on the table with 16 points, go equal on points with fourth-placed FC Goa.

Coppell expects a tough game against ATK but he believes his side has the ability to get the right result on Sunday.

"It has been a difficult time for ATK with the transition of the coach. But when I see the table there is a distance developing between the top four and the other teams, so it's up to others to keep up the pressure. I'm expecting a competitive game," he said.

Talking about his side's chances of making it to the top four, the English coach said, "To be honest, I'm not thinking about the playoffs. As a coach, I think about the next game. If we can win the next game and I think we can. We need to get more positive results to affect the top four. They seem to be winning at the right time and when they slip up, they follow it up with a right result, so it's difficult.”

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