Atletico de Kolkata were dealt a big blow on the even of their crucial game against NorthEast United with their star winger Sameehg Doutie being ruled out of their crucial encounter against NorthEast United.
Doutie, after capturing the imagination last season, got off to a flying start this year as he notched up 2 goals and 2 assists in Atletico’s first 5 games. However, after a lean spell, he was looking back to his best as he threaded the Delhi defence last game to set up the opener for Iain Hume. However, luck didn’t favour the dimunitive South African as he had to be stretchered off in the first half.
Speaking to the press ahead of the game, Molina lamented the absence of the South African. “Doutie will not be available tomorrow,” said the Spaniard. “He is a crucial player for us and he showed that in the last few matches as well. Let's see, maybe he will return for the Chennai game and I will have to do something meanwhile.”
However, Molina feels that the Atletico squad is strong enough to cope with his absence.
“I think injuries are a part of football and it can happen anytime , anywhere. You don't want them to happen, but you have to accept it. I have complete faith in my players, they are confident about themselves and we are focused on the next match. We are playing good football, we have played one match less but are still in the top four and we want to just win 3 points and we want to work hard for it,” quipped Molina
Lack of goals not worrying
At the start of the campaign, Molina had promised the City of Joy that under him, Atletico will play an aggressive brand of football under him. However, nine games into the season, Kolkata have scored only 11 goals. But Molina feels that has nothing to do with them being conservative in their game play.
“I think we are playing aggressively in both defence and attack. I think we are the second team on the sheets with respect to shots on target, after Delhi. Not every shot goes inside the goal, the keepers save them a lot,” opined the former Spain international. “We are performing very well while going forward, and we are making a lot of movements in the box as well. Yes, we would love to score more goal though,”
Atletico also are the only side in the Indian Super League not to have an Indian goalscorer. However, Molina felt it was more because of the composition of the team than anything else.
“It is only because we do not have Indian forwards in our side. Goa has Robin Singh, Chennai have Jeje.
“We have Belincosa, Hume and Helder Postiga so it 's a bit tough. We do have Indian wingers in Baidyananda and Lalrindika, but wingers don't always score goals.
But yes, I would like to see my midfielders score some goals as well.”
Refereeing need to improve
Molina had some harsh words for the referee after the Delhi after Marcelinho had conned the official into giving the home side a penalty. However, Molina wasn’t in a mood to look back and reflect on the past.
“I understand everybody can do mistakes, and even referees can do mistakes. They are not perfect but the only thing I want is them to acknowledge it later on.
“I hope the referee in the North East game has a good game and that is all that I want to say.”
After starting the tournament on a 5 game unbeaten run, the former Villareal manager has seen his side go off colour of late. Kolkata currently lie fourth on the table after taking 4 out of a possible 12 points from their last four games and thus will look forward to give their season a mid-season boost when they take on NorthEast United at the Rabindra Sarobar stadium
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