ISL 2017-18: Depleted ATK to face low on confidence Delhi Dynamos

Hero ISL M37 - ATK v FC Goa

XtraTime Web Desk: Delhi Dynamos FC will feel confident that they can gain some respectability towards the closing stages of the Hero Indian Super League.

Delhi Dynamos were struggling at the bottom of the table until the last game when a draw against FC Goa helped them climb up the table, leaving NorthEast United FC below. The club has been making steady progress for the last couple of matches and will target full points against ATK at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, on Saturday.

“We played for a win against FC Goa (in the last game). As I’ve said all along, we want to finish this competition well, for us and for our (club) president. They understand the (low) position is not good for us. But they also understand that we can finish well and for that we must play for a win,” said Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Angel Portugal.

The Spanish coach struggled with his team at the start but has now managed to regain some confidence. They are now unbeaten in their last three matches, gaining five points from teams like Chennaiyin FC (1-1), NorthEast United FC (1-0) and FC Goa (1-1). They are placed ninth with 12 points from 15 matches and can climb above ATK, who are just above them with 13 points from 15 matches.

This has been an unusual season for ATK. The defending champions have never failed to qualify for the semi-finals and have won the league twice in the last three years. This time, however, ATK have struggled with interim chief coach Ashley Westwood, who replaced Teddy Sheringham, yet to win any of the last five matches he has been in charge.

In fact, since Westwood took charge, ATK have lost four of their five matches and the only point they got was a draw against Kerala Blasters.

“For us, we need to stop conceding. We are good attacking-wise. We have nothing to lose and we try and win games. So, we open ourselves a little bit but attack in a quick aggressive way,” said Westwood, after his team lost against Mumbai City FC 1-2 in the previous game.

Westwood will be desperate to stop the string of losses and pocket his first win in the Hero ISL. His team has been hampered by injuries to some foreign players but will feel confident they can get full points, just like they did in the home clash at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata, with or without their goal-scorer Robbie Keane.

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