ISL: ATK banking on Johnson's insights to break Bengaluru jinx
The English defender will be now be donning ATK colours. The home side, which have not even scored a goal against the Blues, are aiming to notch up their first win
Eyeing their maiden win against Bengaluru FC, ATK are banking on their defender John Johnson's input on the last year's runners-up, coach Steve Coppell said Tuesday.
Johnson was a regular in Bengaluru FC since the club's inception in 2013.
The English defender will be now be donning ATK colours. The home side, which have not even scored a goal against the Blues, are aiming to notch up their first win.
"He has given us insights into what Bengaluru FC do game by game, their match preparation and the things they try to do," Coppell said on the eve of their match against BFC at the Saltlake Stadium.
"They do not have a great deal of change in personnel, the style of play is very much same. Hopefully we will try to counter them. He's (Johnson) been very important last couple of days."
The two-time I-League champions Bengaluru FC had a stupendous run after their foray into the lucrative league last season but only to be pipped by Chennaiyin in the final.
"They are the yardstick. They have one of the best teams of the league. We are excited to play against them. We have a healthy respect for them. First and foremost, we look at ourselves, and if we play well we can win the game.
"We don't lose sleep over our opposition. The emphasis is on us and not on the opposition," the veteran Englishman said.
Having suffered back to back defeats at home, the new-look ATK have managed to bounce back with two wins and a draw.
In their last match, ATK upset defending champions Chennaiyin FC 2-1.
"I don't think one win at home is momentum. It is difficult to win at home. It will be great to start momentum by winning again. Crowd turned up well in the last match. We hope we could repay them with another win," Coppell said.
"Every game is demanding. It's a short league but a long season. There are so many factors which can affect your performance. We feel we are at the front-foot at the moment. Every match trying to get better by better this season," he said.
Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat said they don't like to be called favourites to win the title.
"I don't feel like we are favourites to win the trophy. I feel we have to fight very hard to get to the playoffs. Last season you saw, at the end we had nothing. It's an open competition. No favourites for me at the moment," the Spaniard said.
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