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Time at Manchester United will help meet challenge of coaching: Teddy Sheringham

Former England striker Teddy Sheringham said input from David James got him to make the trip to India to coach Indian Super League champions Atletico de Kolkata.

football Updated: Jul 22, 2017 18:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Indian Super League,Atletico de Kolkata,Teddy Sheringham
Teddy Sheringham came to India to coach Atletico de Kolkata after listening to former England teammate David James speak positively about the Indian Super League. (AFP)

Positive feedback from his England teammate David James helped Teddy Sheringham decide to join reigning Indian Super League (ISL) champions Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) as coach even though he admitted to not having any idea about football in India.

“I spoke to the English contingent which was here for the past two-three years; managers, players and they all said what a fantastic experience it was and I am looking forward to that as well. I also spoke to David (player-coach at Kerala Blasters in 2014) and he was very positive about it. David said he wanted to come back to the ISL,” said Sheringham, 51, at the official presentation of the coach and technical director Ashley Westwood here on Saturday before they left for Sunday’s Indian players’ draft in Mumbai.

Having won two of the three editions of the ISL with coaches who were not famous players, ATK will aim to defend their title in a deeper, longer competition with Sheringham, a big-name footballer with nearly no coaching experience. The former Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspurs and England striker will team with Westwood, whose solitary stint outside India as coach lasted five months, as technical director.

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“I am looking forward to learning from someone who is second to none,” said Westwood. Sheringham too said he would need to learn quickly “and I will be asking him (Westwood) a lot of questions.”

John Gregory, who has been signed by Chennaiyin FC, Steve Coppell at Jamshedpur FC are the other English coaches in ISL4.

Sheringham said his time at United would help him deal with the challenge of helming the defending champions of the ISL. “It’s exciting to take over the champions. Yes, there is certain pressure in that and we spoke about it but my time at Manchester United should make it easy to deal with. It gives you a certain amount of understanding to deal with that.”

ATK principal owner Sanjiv Goenka said while choosing the technical team for season 4, they wanted to go “with winners, people who are used to success, people who have been in difficult situations and know how to get on top of them.”

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In three seasons with Bengaluru FC, Westwood won the I-League twice and Federation Cup once. His inputs on Indian footballers will no doubt come in handy at the draft. Sheringham was Eric Cantona’s replacement at Manchester United and won the Premiership thrice and every top tournament in England with United.

He also scored and assisted once in the 1999 Champions League final where United came back from the dead to beat Bayern Munich, leading then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson to famously comment “Football, bloody hell!”

First Published: Jul 22, 2017 18:39 IST