ISL 2017/18: ATK star Robbie Keane ruled out of match against NorthEast United FC
Robbie Keane has not travelled with the ATK squad to Guwahati.
ATK's efforts to haul themselves out of their current poor form suffered a huge blow as they had to drop star striker and captain Robbie Keane from the squad that travelled to Guwahati for their match against fellow strugglers NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.
Keane's future at the Kolkata club had been under a lot of speculation after the Irishman was linked with a move back to England, to his boyhood club Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are now on the cusp of promotion to the Premier League.
When asked about these rumours, ATK assistant coach Bastab Roy sidetracked the question. “I am not the right person to answer the situation about Robbie Keane moving to Wolves. It’s better you ask this question to him,” said Roy.
He did mention though, that Keane has not travelled with the side to Guwahati as he has an injury.
“We have sacrificed him for one game so that he can give us service in the remaining nine matches,” said Roy.
Roy did mention that it was luck that has hampered them this season, and not their performance. According to him, ATK only performed poorly in the FC Pune City game. Other than that, the Kolkata-based side, he believes, has been playing well but were not getting the required results as lady luck has not been on their side this season.
Meanwhile, NorthEast United FC assistant coach Elco Schattorie feels that the team needs a lot of work as they are lying in the bottom half of the table. He felt that a lot of things, which they are working on at this moment, needed to be sorted out during the preseason, which has left the coaching staff with a lot to do.
“I like to play proper football the type of football, which Goa and Bengaluru are playing at the moment. To do that, we need to work really hard during the preseason and work on the attacking aspects and stay united while defending,” Elco said.
The NEUFC assistant coach did mention, however, that after Deus' last game in which the team lost 5-0, it was a big deal for the new coaching staff to get the team's morale high and back on track, and will look to work on their game even more after their win against FC Goa in the last match.