Buoyant NorthEast United has ATK in its sights

ATK assistant coach emphasised organisation and staying together as the two aspects that will help his side achieve results.

While NorthEast United FC won its last match, ATK suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Bengaluru FC.   -  AP

High on confidence after winning its first match under former Chelsea manager Avram Grant, NorthEast United FC will need to be at its best to stop a desperate ATK in a ninth round Indian Super League clash here tomorrow.

Grant will look for the attitude which was seen against FC Goa, when his side notched its first win after four defeats on the trot. It can leapfrog ATK with a win and that will be the most motivating factor for them.

“I think we need to improve a lot. I like to implement attacking football but for us to reach the desired level is difficult. So the immediate focus is to remain organised and be together. Hopefully that gets us some results,” said NorthEast assistant coach Eelco Schattorie.

Avram Grant: India is doing the right thing

“Two areas which need work on is to bring the team together. Last week everyone worked hard and had the intention to help each other so that organisation is very important.

"Secondly, we need to improve in the area of scoring goals but that is the most difficult as well. We can’t train today to score and score tomorrow. That is not how it works. That only works when you have (Lionel) Messi or (Cristiano) Ronaldo,” he added.

ATK has won just twice in eight games and can cut the gap to the playoff spots to just two points with a victory.

Its assistant coach Bastob Roy likened the situation to that of Real Madrid in the LaLiga - saying that this was how football was and that it would now have to create its own luck rather than rely on the rub of the green.

“Have you seen the situation of Real Madrid? This is football, it’s part of the game and we are trying to come out of this situation. We still think we can make the playoffs. The table is very unpredictable and with two wins in a row, we may be able to achieve it,” Bastob said during an interaction.

“Luck is not with us. Chance factor has been against us. We are not looking behind but looking forward. The only thing we can do is work hard,” the former player, who mainly played for Mohammedan Sporting, added.

NorthEast United may not have those two players at its disposal, but it showed what a determined performance can achieve against one of the best teams in the league. More of the same will certainly cause ATK problems.

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