Hyderabad looks to exorcise ATK demons

Bottom-placed Hyderabad FC faces a daunting task as cvisits it for an Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium here on Saturday.
Hyderabad looks to exorcise ATK demons
Phil Brown, Hyderabad FC manager


Hyderabad, which has four points from eight matches, is in desperate need for an upturn in form. Phil Brown’s team has just one point to show for its efforts from its last five matches. Its opponent, ATK, is third on the table with 14 points from eight games and could possibly go top of the table with a victory.
But Hyderabad, which has just one win so far, needs to put behind the demons from its previous clash earlier this season when Antonio Habas’s side thumped it 5-0. “If we look at the first game, we were humiliated. As a coach, I will never want that to happen again. That day, we weren’t good enough with and without the ball. But now with eight or nine games down the line, we are a different team,” said Brown.
Strikingly, Hyderabad has the worst defence this season - conceding 17 goals from eight games - while ATK has the best attack which has pumped in 16 goals. The Hyderabad backline, which is yet to keep a clean sheet, will brace itself for a tough night against the likes of Roy Krishna and David Williams.
But it is not just the defence that has troubled HFC this season. Its attack has contributed just seven goals - the second-worst record after Chennaiyin FC (5). But more importantly, it has scored just three goals at home. It has also never scored first in any of its matches so far - the only team to do so in the league.
“If you look at the table, it is a concern where we are. But we are hoping that in the second half of the season we will do something about it. And that is probably one of the main reasons Nestor (Gordillo) is being put in front. He is available for his first game of the season. Now that I have my best players, hopefully we will get more positive results,” said Brown.
The Kolkata-based club has no such issues, with its forwards scoring almost at will. Moreover, the team will be smarting after a 1-2 loss to FC Goa in its previous match and will want to get back to winning ways. Habas’s side, which is very organised, can wreak havoc in the opposition ranks with its counter-attacks.
The pace of Krishna, Williams, Michael Soosairaj and Prabir Das will come in handy, but more importantly, ATK has creativity in midfield with the likes of Javi Hernandez and Edu Garcia impressing.

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