Hitesh Sharma: I am very lucky to play for the two-time Hero ISL champions

After initially suffering a poor start to the campaign, ATK have come out strong and are now among the many teams fighting for the play-off spots for next year. One of their bright sparks has been Hitesh Sharma, who has put in some impressive displays for the club over the past month.

Ahead of the clash against Bengaluru FC, the youngster spoke exclusively to indiansuperleague.com on the importance of finishing strong and on his recent contract extension with the club. Here are the excerpts:

How important is it to get a win against Bengaluru FC?

Yeah, I think it is very important to win before the break because the win can take us in the top four. So, for us, it is important to win before the break, so we can celebrate Christmas and New Year happily. It is important for us.

ATK have an equal record of goals scored and conceded. Thoughts on that?

We lacked some goals in the starting matches. We didn't start very well this year, but it is important to back the defence always because to win tournaments, you need good defence. So, we are working on scoring and I hope we will do better in the coming matches.

Who do you admire the most in the squad?

As an Indian player, I admire Eugenson (Lyngdoh) because he is very good in nature and he is good on the field as well. In the foreigners, I admire Manuel Lanzarote because he is creative, and he creates a lot of things. So, I learn from them. Even the players who are in the Indian Football team like Balwant Singh, they all help me to improve.

Who do you think is the biggest threat from Bengaluru FC?

They're table-toppers for a reason and it's not because of one person. So, we have to play as a team to hold them and win the match. 

You have signed a contract extension with the club. How does it feel?

For them, I don't know but for me, it is very lucky to play for the two-time Hero ISL champions. So, for me, it is a great opportunity to do well for myself and the team.

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