Roy Krishna: The win against Kerala Blasters will help ATK Mohun Bagan in Derby

After starring for his side in its win against Kerala Blasters in the season opener, ATK Mohun Bagan's Roy Krishna is focussing his efforts on the upcoming Kolkata Derby.

Ahead of the Kolkata derby, ATK Mohun Bagan's Roy Krishna urged fans to not break social distancing directives.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

The ATK Mohun Bagan striker Roy Krishna was a relieved man after his goal helped the team break the jinx against Kerala Blasters. The erstwhile ATK side could not win a single match against the Blasters in the past three seasons, where it lost three and drew the other three in a total of six meetings since 2017.

Krishna felt the win against Blasters will inspire ATK ahead of the match against its traditional rival SC East Bengal. "We won the Kerala match after a long time. This win will help us in the derby.”

“I have heard a lot about the Kolkata Derby. I am waiting to play that match as I have never seen that match or even had a chance to play… We have to win this match at any cost,” Krishna said.

READ: ISL 2020-21: Kerala Blasters vs ATK Mohun Bagan - Talking Points

The Fijian also urged fans to exercise caution.  “You can't come on the field this time because of the (coronavirus) pandemic.  I will miss that insanity in the gallery.  But I request everyone to pray for our team in as many ways from the outside. Support us. Stay tuned. You are the twelfth person in our team.”

Assessing his own performance in the opener, Krishna regrets not converting his other chances, citing lack of adequate practice for his rustiness on the opening night.

“I regret not getting a hat-trick.  I wonder why I wasted the opportunities. This proves that I need to work harder and be more accurate.  I played after practising for only two weeks.  I hope I can improve myself as the days go by,” he said.

The 33-year-old striker dedicated the win to his wife, Naziah Ali. “I have spent most of the last two months in quarantine.  At that time, my wife Naziah encouraged me (from Fiji) in many ways every day.  She gave me many suggestions to reduce my mental fatigue,” Krishna said.

Antonio Lopez Habas, endearingly called the ‘Headmaster’ of the team, was also happy with the win. “We did not play a single preparation match. The training was not good either.  Despite that my team played well."

Habas provided insight into his workload management strategy. "It is difficult to play well for 90 minutes in this humidity. So, the players played rotationally. David Williams did not start and I picked up Roy.  This is the way to proceed in the long league.  Kerala was a tough match.  It feels so good to win.  I will start my preparation for the derby from Sunday. There will be a continuous practice,” Habas said.   

READ: ISL 2020-21 news: ATK Mohun Bagan's Soosairaj likely to miss Kolkata derby

ATK Mohun Bagan is likely to miss its express left-back Michael Soosairaj in the upcoming Derby. The injury on his left knee, which the player suffered in the opening fixture, seems to be serious enough to keep him off the field for a month, according to team sources.

“He returned to the dressing room on foot from the field but an MRI could not be done on Saturday because his knee is still swollen.  As a result the team doctors are not able to determine the seriousness of the injury,” a release from the team said. 

Reacting on Soosairaj’s injury Habas expressed his disappointment saying, “The referee continued the game even after Soosairaj fell to the ground due to injury.  That was a foul."

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