Krishna high on Kauko-Boumous signings, hopes to go one better than last season with ATK Mohun Bagan
2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) finalists ATK Mohun Bagan striker Roy Krishna is excited at the prospect of playing alongside top-notch talents like Joni Kauko and Hugo Boumous in the upcoming season.
“We have made some great signings, the likes of Boumous and Kauko. We have been training two days [in Kolkata ahead of the AFC Cup] now and we are already gelling. There is a lot of improvement needed but I am really excited. I think it [the presence of the above-mentioned duo] will improve my game and improve my football knowledge and the service I will get this season will be unbelievable. Can’t wait to play alongside those boys,” Krishna said on the latest episode of Football United.
Hero of the League in 2020-21 after scoring 14 goals and providing 8 assists, Krishna extended his stay with the Mariners late last month. The 33-year-old said he was happy to have extended his contract and that he never had any doubts in regard to his return to the Kolkata side despite having offers from other clubs.
“Happy to be back. I think I have made the right decision. You know there were a lot of options but look, I felt really good, felt like I was at home with not the just the club but also the management and the players. So, I’m really happy to be back and can’t wait for the season to start,” he said.
“I would say no [if there were any doubts over his return to ATK Mohun Bagan]. The way we finished the last season …But credit goes to Mumbai City FC, they deserved to win. I will still have the same hunger this season and hopefully we can go on to be a better side.”
ATK Mohun Bagan start their AFC Cup campaign (Group D, South Zone) in the Maldives on August 18. The Fijian believes the continental club competition is a huge opportunity for Antonio Lopez Habas’ men. “It’s huge. First, we are very fortunate to play in this competition. Every player wants to play in this competition, not just us foreigners but also the local boys. They have this great opportunity to showcase their talent against some big clubs. Really excited, hopefully we can do well in the competition and gain a lot,” Krishna said.
He was confident that the team would rectify their mistakes they made last season that resulted in their losing both the League Shield as well as the Hero ISL trophy by a whisker. “The way we played last season… it was disappointing but there is always learning. Hopefully, we can train really hard this season and rectify our mistakes that we made last season,” he said.
Krishna also has fond memories of his goals against arch-rivals SC East Bengal. Readers will remember that it was the first time last season that the renowned Kolkata derby was played in the Hero ISL. “As a player you want to create history. SC East Bengal is one of the greatest clubs. Going into the derby, I read so much about it [about the history between the two clubs]. To score in both the games… humbled that I could score in both games. But that’s history now. Hopefully, this season I can get more goals,” he said.
Finally, Krishna assured ATK Mohun Bagan fans that there will be no lack of effort from the team in the AFC Cup as well as the Hero ISL and urged them to back the boys in Green and Maroon with all their might. “Just be with the boys. We have made some good signings this season and we need your support for the AFC Cup, need your blessing. We are going through a tough time [referring to the pandemic] but the boys are still gelling. It won’t be easy but just be with us, be patient and support the boys. I think we will have an exciting season,” he said.