Love playing against Kolkata teams, they have amazing fans: Vikram Partap Singh on LFL show

Vikram Partap Singh, from taking India to the quarter-final of the 2018 U-16 AFC Asian Championship for the first time in the country's history to starring for Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season, has grown in leaps and bounds.

He has scored three goals for Mumbai City FC this season but apart from that has been a menacing presence for the opponents.

He scored a brace against ATK Mohun Bagan in his team's 5-1 success over the Kolkata giants earlier this season to announce his arrival on the Hero ISL stage.

“I like playing against teams from Kolkata from the start. They have amazing fans. I was only thinking about getting the first goal, after that second, and third. I went in with this sort of hunger and everything went well,” Vikram was quoted as saying while speaking on the Let's Football Live (LFL) show on Saturday.

This hunger to get goals is perhaps the reason he has made a name for himself this season. The 20-year-old played less than hundred minutes in the Hero ISL 2020-21 season. He couldn’t manage to get a single goal that season.

The forward has already recorded three goals in this season, despite missing a part of the season due to injury for a while.

Recently, against Chennaiyin FC, he scored the winner with five minutes left on the clock. His goal ended Mumbai City FC’s seven game winless streak. And for a team that is in the race for the top four spots, those were much-needed three points.

Speaking about the late goal he said, “We all knew the team wasn’t winning too many points for the last six to seven games. Somewhere in the mind. I felt, if I get on the pitch I have to score. We needed the win.”

Recalling his brace against Mumbai City FC earlier this season, he said, “It’s a special feeling. I saw other players scoring and getting the award last season. I used to think I was not able to win it. I wasn’t getting much game time. I started the game against ATKMB, which was my first start of the season. My only focus was to score a goal anyhow.”

Vikram’s three goals in two matches have come from different positions upfront. Speaking about the role coach, Des Buckingham, has asked him to play in his system, he added, “Coach has given me freedom to play in the offensive third. I really like it. Because when I have freedom, I can make runs and express myself. I like to play in this sort of system.”

The man from Punjab seems to be enjoying his time under Buckingham. But there’s no shortage of big names in the MCFC squad. Hence, it can become a bit difficult to get more game time for him.

Expressing his views on competition for places in the squad he said, “I think it’s very hard for me as well as the coach to select the starting eleven. But sometimes it’s good as well. I don’t think we can improve a lot without competition. Right now, if you’re in the starting eleven there’s a pressure on you to perform well, otherwise you might not start the next match. I am learning something or the other from Raynier Fernandes, Bipin Singh, and Lallianzuala Chhangte. I try to imbibe it in my play. I give my best everytime.”

Mumbai City FC are fifth in the league table with 25 points in 16 matches. They are two points adrift of the top four. Given the situation, the club would need the desire and willingness of Vikram to push them over the line in the upcoming matches.

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