ATK cautiously optimistic ahead of ISL final

The current Atletico de Kolkata coach Jose Molina was not with the team when it beat Kerala Blasters by a solitary goal in the 2014 final in Mumbai to lift the crown but the former Spanish World Cupper said that he would not like to live in the past and wish for a repeat of the triumph.

hume isl

Iain Hume scored twice in the semifinal to help his team to the title clash.   -  AFP

Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) showed cautious optimism ahead of the Indian Super League (ISL) final against Kerala Blasters FC in Kochi, which will see the two reliving the summit clash after a two years.

The current ATK coach Jose Molina was not with the team when it beat the Blasters by a solitary goal in the 2014 final in Mumbai to lift the crown but the former Spanish World Cupper said that he would not like to live in the past and wish for a repeat of the triumph.

Ahead of his team departure for the final on Friday, Molina said the ATK can regain the crown only if it shows intensity on the field and not try to live in the glory of the past. The ATK even has a favourable head-to-head record against the Blasters with four wins, two draws and just one loss in the previous seven meetings.

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Molina did not wish to count the fact that his team beat the same opponent at Kochi in the league phase this year. "Past is past. The victory early in the season will boost our confidence but that does not mean that we will win against them again," said he.

"We can win only if we play well. I live in the present and I know that all the advantage is with them (Blasters) as they will be playing in front of a huge home support."

Molina’s compatriot Antonio Habas guided the ATK to the title in the inaugural season before seeing it lose to the eventual champion Chennaiyin FC in the semifinals last season.

"My team has done good work in the last 16 matches we played this season and we hope to carry the good work in the right direction. I do not want to do anything special or different but would just hope that we can preserve the momentum," Molina said.

"I know that it will be a great atmosphere in Kochi and I hope that the presence of such a huge crowd will motivate us to give our best on the field. It will be eleven against eleven and I have confidence in my team."

Iain Hume, who scored twice in the semis to help ATK reach the final, said his team has the tough task of playing against the wishes of home fans.

"Inside us we always believed that we are good enough to reach the final and now we have to keep our focus and not get overworked," Hume said.

"Every striker likes to score goals but this time I would like to come home winning the trophy, even if I don’t score."

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