ISL 2017: "I will certainly go and watch the I-League," says ATK star Robin Singh
A good campaign will help him get a national call-up, believes the striker
ATK's main Indian striker and target man up front, Robin Singh was vocal as he addressed the media on Wednesday in Kolkata. He talked about a number of topics, from the future of the I-League, his time at ATK so far and his chances of making it to the Indian national team.
The I-League, which will run almost in parallel with the ISL this time around, has a dark cloud hovering over its head with fears of it losing out on its audience. However, ATK's number 9 stressed on how that won't be the case as it's the love for the game that will draw people and that if free, even he might attend some games.
"You watch the Champions League, English Premier League and so on and like that you watch the I-League. I am not taking away anything from the I-League. I will certainly go watch the I-League. My friends play in that league, I would like to go and support them, who have had my back always," said Robin.
The forward also spoke fondly about his time at East Bengal in the I-League. He said, "I will miss East Bengal. I have been a part of East Bengal and that was the club that gave me the chance to become a professional footballer. I have great memories of the club. Even six months back, I was with the club. So it will always have a special place for me," said Robin, who started his journey with the Red and Gold brigade before making a switch to Bengaluru FC and winning the I-League with them.
When asked whether he will miss the prospect of being part of a derby match, he smiled and replied, "There will always be a derby. It all depends on what you make a derby."
Robin, who came on as a second-half substitute, played 30 minutes in ATK's first match of the season against the Kerala Blasters, a game which ended in a goalless draw. However, the striker believes that it was just one match and that the team will keep on improving and that they are focused on winning games and getting the best results.
Robin has now been part of three different ISL teams and falls under the category of a select few bunch of Indian strikers who get a decent amount of game time in a league which is heavily dominated by big-name foreign strikers. Speaking on the topic, he said, "Every year is a new year with new challenges and I have been blessed enough to play with ISL teams who accept me as a striker and what I bring with my game."
"I am proud to be part of the champion team this year. I wake up every day wanting to learn and do the best in training but I am nothing without the boys I work with.When you work hard as a unit, the coach sees it. Whether I get nine minutes or 90 minutes, I will work hard. My job is to keep my head down and work hard," he further added.
Robin also spoke about the advantages that teams will have with the league being longer this season and said that it will be beneficial for all the teams with more recovery time and more time to assess the opponent and exploit their weaknesses on the pitch.
The striker, who had a smile on his face throughout the interaction, believes that there's still a long way to go in the league and that ATK will keep on improving their performances and believes that a positive performance during the campaign could also earn him another national call-up.
"Hopefully if I work harder, I'll be back in the national team. I want to be back. Representing my country is the highest honour as a professional player. You want to represent your country. It's about keeping my head down and keep digging in. Let my critics decide on how have I played," he said.
ATK take on FC Pune City in their next game, which is also their first match at home at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.