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Mumbai City FC look for third win at home against ATK in ISL

With seven points, Mumbai City FC are on the fifth spot with two wins in five games, while ATK are languishing at the bottom of the Indian Super League table and are still searching for their first win

indian super league 2017 Updated: Dec 16, 2017 20:05 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Mumbai
Mumbai City FC,ATK,Indian Super League
Mumbai City FC have a good mix of mid-fielders and defenders going into the Indian Super League math against ATK.(ISL / SPORTZPICS)

Looking to build on their unscathed home record this season, Mumbai City FC will be keen on breaking into the top-four when they host bottom placed ATK at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.

Currently occupying fifth position in the ten-team table, Mumbai have been able to see-off the likes FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC on home soil; both of whom are currently placed second and third respectively.

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A winless and low lying ATK have just two points to their credit so far. But a victory on Sunday would certainly act as a confidence booster, as it would make them the first team to come away with full points from Mumbai City’s home ground since last season.

“We know that we have to play our best to win. If we are capable of winning tomorrow, we are in the top four. But also they (ATK) cannot lose, (as) they are going to get pushed further down,” said Mumbai’s manager Alexandre Guimaraes, explaining the complexity of the tie.

“We have to produce more of our quality game, if we do that, I am sure, that it will be possible to continue our home run. Because this is always been one of the objectives this season (to win at home),” added the Costa Rican tactician.

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In terms of Mumbai’s long term plans this season Guimaraes said: “After the Kerala game, the players understood what our direction should be in terms of play. We have different kind of players, compared to the last season, so we have to adapt accordingly to get the balance right. May be our approach is different from other teams; we have seen teams make 3-4 changes, but we are not like that. Just like last season, we did not alter our approach much between games and we will stick to that this season.”

ATK’s manager Teddy Sheringham admitted that their less than satisfactory run has been an added pressure but that he still has the support of the management.

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“We haven’t got a win and we are at the bottom of the table, so that certainly puts a little bit of pressure. We have caused our own problems, something that we have to rectify” said former Manchester United player.

“No pressure from the top. We talk after every game, they have been very supportive because they have seen the way we have attacked (in the) games, how we could have won games, with little bit of luck. We have taken the game to every opponent so we are not lacking in confidence.”

A point will be enough to lift ATK from the bottom; a win will take them to eighth position. But in order get a positive result, Sheringham believes the team must ‘improve in all departments.’

“We defend and attack as a team. So, if we have lost two games and drawn two games, you obviously look at your defensive qualities. I don’t blame anyone because if you are leaving your goal-keeper or full backs open, that is something to do with the whole team. We need to improve in all departments,” he said.

First Published: Dec 16, 2017 18:42 IST