Atletico de Kolkata conjured up one more point when a goal in the 90th minute by Iain Hume, ensured that the team from the City of Joy remain in the top 4, albeit by a margin of one point. With the point against NorthEast United, the points table has got even tighter with a mere six points separating the top from the bottom.
And with merely a couple of games enough to drag anyone down from their lofty spot at the moment, ATK coach Jose Molina feels it’s a ‘do or die’ situation for everyone in the league.
“I think right now with four matches to play for most teams, everyone is in a do or die situation. The Delhi Dynamos needs to win. Even though they are at 17, if they don’t win, they find themselves in trouble,” quipped Molina. “And that’s the situation for all the teams in the tournament.”
Need more realistic targets
Even though a point is a good result against a spirited NorthEast team, Atletico’s performance on the day inspired very little if any confidence amongst it’s passionate supporters. However, the Spaniard felt that everyone has to set realistic targets.
“The table is too tight. Everyone is too close. Someone might be thinking that we would be top of the table with 25 points. But that’s too tough,” opined the ATK coach. “That’s a little unrealistic.”
Molina however, didn’t feel comfortable spelling out how many points would be enough to secure a place in the playoff as he stated, “I don’t know (how many points will be enough). The only thing I want to grab is three points from the next four games. We will think first of Chennai and then Goa and then Kerala. Take each game at a time. And do our job for the best of my abilities.”
Mistakes costing us
The ISL has seen a plethora of mistakes and the Atletico defence has not been anything different. In tonight’s game against NorthEast United, the goal for the Highlanders was rather a gift as a horrible pass from Henrique Sereno led Nicolas Velez to open the scoring.
This is certainly not the first time, a lapse in concentration has cost the team dear. Whilst Tiri’s mistake was punished with much oomph by Florent Malouda in the last game, Sereno in the home game against Delhi brought down Richard Gadze in the penalty box which resulted in a penalty as well as a sending off for the former Portugal international. However, the Spaniard remained positive on the future.
Speaking on the mistakes, Sereno stated, “We did a big mistake in the first half. We presented them with a chance. That made our job a lot difficult. Of course, I am not happy with that. Everyone can make mistakes, but we have to try and improve.
“But I have absolute confidence on our defender. Mistakes are a part of the game. But we can’t accept that. We have to improve
Pleased with Iain Hume and the fighting spirit
Iain Hume was largely anonymous throughout the game. However, the Canadian's striker’s instincts came in handy to salvage a point for the team. Hume, who has struggled to find form this season, however, sees his name at the top of the goalscoring chart after scoring his fifth of the season and 2 in as many games.
Molina has played the ex-Preston man all around the pitch and today he lined up on the right-hand side of the pitch for the second half of the game. has been. However, Molina is no uncertain words has said where he would like the Kolkata number seven to line-up.
“I like Hume as a striker. His movements can cause problems for the defence. I like having him near the opposition box. That’s where he is most dangerous,” said the ex-Villarreal manager. “However, sometimes he can help us in different positions. He has the ability to play in different position and that’s a thing I like in Hume. I am absolutely happy with him.”
Molina also exuded praise on the character of the team which saw them fight till the last minute. Kolkata now travel to Chennaiyin in a repeat of last year’s semi-final clash. With both the teams struggling and precious points up for grabs. Molina would hope that his team would finally put the bad times behind them.
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