Delhi Dynamos will get ‘the bullet man’ back in the side as they look to outgun the defending champion and home favourite Atletico de Kolkata here in the Indian Super League tie at the Salt Lake Stadium on Thursday. Roberto Carlos, who has earned the sobriquet for his lethal free-kicks and being the most offensive minded left-back in the world, confirmed his fitness and the desire to turn out for the Dynamos after an injury break.
“I am planning to be on the pitch in every match for my team from now on. I have recovered from the pain in the leg and would like to aid the midfield than being there in my usual left-back position as the field is too big for me,” said the 42-year-old marquee-player manager of Dynamos. He sat out the previous four matches owing to injury after making his ISL debut against FC Goa in the opener.
Carlos’ announcement became significant as the Dynamos look to regroup after the 2-0 loss it suffered against Mumbai City FC barely a week ago. The Dynamos, which failed to make the knock-out stage in the inaugural season, is eager to turn things around this time under the stewardship of the World Cup winning Brazilian. Dynamos are currently placed fourth with nine points from five matches, where it has won three and lost twice.
The home side under Spanish coach Antonio Habas searched for balance and the rhythm to regain its winning form after suffering back-to-back loses for the first time in the history of the tournament. The team lost by identical 1-0 margin against FC Pune City and NorthEast United FC in the two ‘away’ matches and lost its place in the top half of the league position.
Habas, who got the team to the tile last season mainly by preserving the shape and consistency of the side, is feeling the heat as the opponents appear better prepared in the second season. “The league is lot more balanced now. You can see in the current standings how close the teams are. There will be lots of twists and turns this time before the semifinalists are decided,” said the team’s key striker Iain Hume.
Habas is bothered by injuries to key players like striker Helder Postiga and his strength in defence, Josemi. The injuries are serious on both the players and the home side could say little about the date of their return. Names like Arata Izumi and Arnab Mondal too are in the injury list and that makes things more difficult for the home side.
“We are fighting to get the balance back and regain the winning touch. But you cannot always determine the result in football,” Habas said adding that the main challenge of his side it to get back the performance it had in the first three matches — against strong sides like Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa and Kerala Blasters — where it won two and drew once to net the seven points it has tallied so far.
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