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ISL 2017/18: Teddy Sheringham heaps praise on ATK youngster Hitesh Shrama

13 Jan 2018, 09:00 IST

Hitesh Sharma (Photo: ISL)
Hitesh Sharma (Photo: ISL)

ATK head coach Teddy Sheringham heaped praise on his young playmaker Hitesh Sharma after the defending champions' hard-fought 1-0 victory over NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati, on Friday.

“Hitesh has been brilliant for us. I just had a chat with the little man, and he is showing immense potential," said Sheringham after the match. "As long as youngsters like him are there to learn and improve I will be around to train and coach them."

The 20-year-old Hitesh played a crucial role for ATK, as he was deployed in a number-10 position, playing behind striker Robin Singh. ATK's job was made doubly tougher with their iconic striker and captain Robbie Keane being ruled out of this game due to injury.

"He is playing in a very difficult position the position just behind the striker and I am someone who has a lot of experience in playing in that position so I will keep on helping him," said the ATK head coach. "He's just 20, the lad will keep getting better.”

Meanwhile, NorthEast United FC assistant coach Elco Shattorie conceded that ATK kept better possession of the ball and dominated the game. However, he also mentioned that despite all the possession, ATK failed to break the NEUFC defence.

“Kolkata were a bit better on the ball than us but they too failed to open up our defence convincingly," said Shattorie. "The goal we conceded was due to giving up the ball in two consecutive moments, through which they scored from a long ranger.”

He also went on to reveal how both him and manager Avram Grant had predicted that a set-piece or a mistake would lead to the winning goal in this match.

“A 0-0 scoreline would have been a fair result for us, but the defeat did hurt us. We have to start working on our weak points starting from tomorrow,” is how Elco summed up his feeling about the game. 

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