ATK looks to seal semifinal berth

Published - November 27, 2015 12:21 am IST - KOLKATA:

Confident Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) will look to seal a Playoff berth when it meets an inconsistent FC Pune City on Friday at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Riding on a string of good results, the defending champion logged 10 points in the last four rounds to reach the top of table.

On the other hand, FC Pune City is struggling to move up the ladder (winless in the last five rounds where it picked just two points) and badly needs a win to keep its hopes alive for the semifinals.

ATK coach Antonio Habas said he would like to win every match even though victories against Chennaiyin FC (2-1) and FC Goa 4-0 have put the side in a commanding position.

Another win will secure a semifinal berth for the host. “I am looking to win every match. The three points are very important and we will try to gain that with the fantastic home support that we have seen so far,” Habas said.

Injuries and lack of form had hit ATK hard midway into the league. The coach changed the combination, bringing in young South African Sameehg Doutie, who has been in sensational form, to partner Jaime Gavilan and Iain Hume.

Pune has three more rounds to go and is currently placed sixth with 15 points from 11 matches.

FC Pune City coach David Platt said: “It is true that the team has not played well in the last few rounds but we are in the touching distance of the top four. There is nothing to panic as two wins can put us back in contention.”

FC Pune City, which set the pace early, has been faltering in the second phase of the league. World Cupper and Romanian striker Adrian Mutu has been in poor form. The team will be missing two of its regulars, midfielder Sushant Mathew and defender Gourmangi Singh, to injuries but Platt hoped his team will find the right combination to gain three points.

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