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East Bengal will always be a special place: ATK striker Robin Singh

Being ‘proud’ ATK player in Indian Super League doesn’t mean won’t follow friends in I-League, says Robin Singh.

indian super league 2017 Updated: Nov 23, 2017 18:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
East Bengal,Indian Super League,I-LEague
Indian football player Robin Singh plays for ATK in Indian Super League.(PTI)

With the Indian Super League (ISL) and the I-League scheduled to run concurrently, it seems natural that conversation about one would overlap with the other. So it was on Wednesday when ATK striker Robin Singh spoke about East Bengal.

Asked whether he would miss playing against East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, Singh said: “Yes. I have been a part of East Bengal; that was the club that gave me the opportunity to be a professional footballer and I have great memories. Even six months back, I was with East Bengal; it will always be a special place. But it is done now.”

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Singh, 27, stated repeatedly through the interaction how ‘proud’ he was to be part of the ISL champions but didn’t dodge questions on the I-League or clubs playing there.

“I am a supporter of football. So if I am asked (to go and watch an I-League match), and if I have the time, why not? My friends play in that league. I would like to go and support them because they have had my back from time,” he said.

That everyone is new in his new club, unlike the last two seasons when he played for FC Goa (2016) and Delhi Dynamos (2015), has helped ATK settle down faster, said Singh. “Everyone knew they had to adapt. We are now a happy family off the field.”

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‘Need to outthink opponents’

The longer league has not only given teams more time to recover and work on their game, it has also helped them analyse opponents better. “The only way to beat them is to outthink them. The longer break helps us study the opponents,” said Singh.

ATK host FC Pune City on Sunday, nine days after their first game, away to Kerala Blasters, ended goalless. In that time last year, ATK had played three games, two of them away.

Currently out of favour with the India team, Singh said the ISL is an opportunity for him. “I don’t know what is in the mind of the coach and won’t question him. But this is an opportunity for me to work harder and be there because I want to be back,” he said.

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‘Keane can scare opponents’

Sitting alongside was Zequinha, who was used as a wide midfielder in the opener. The Portuguese said the team misses the injured Robbie Keane because “he is such a big player that opponents get a little scared”.

First Published: Nov 22, 2017 22:47 IST