When defending champion ATK replaced injured midfielder Carl Baker with defender Ryan Taylor, the move raised a few eyebrows. Talking to the media on the eve of the match against Mumbai, even coach Teddy Sheringham didn’t sound too convincing on why he made that choice.
But the former Newcastle United player not only played the entire duration of the game against Mumbai City FC last Sunday, but also was integral in the holder registering its first win of the campaign.
It was an eventful debut for the 33-year-old who created a chance, had one shot on target and even picked a yellow. ATK now faces Delhi Dynamos FC in a home game on Saturday and the full back, who switched to the midfield and played on the flanks with equal ease, said that a weight has been lifted off the team's shoulder after its win in Mumbai.
“Hopefully, we will push on and get some more wins in the next few games. Everybody in the team are fit and raring to go and wants to show what the team is all about and what we are made off,” said Taylor during a media interaction in Kolkata on Thursday.
“We need to start converting the chances. We started playing a little cagey after the goal in the last game. We should be more precise in front of goal,” added Taylor who owes it to Kerala Blasters FC star Iain Hume for his ATK sojourn.
“He speaks very highly of everyone in ATK. He said about how the fans fill up the stadium for every game. That’s what drew me here,” said Taylor and went on to explain the kind of relationship he shares with the former ATK superstar.
“Iain is a good friend. We have known each other for 14 years. He had only good words to say about ISL and he convinced me join the League. He has his family but he comes this far away to play and still loves it,” Taylor said.