Manuel Perez: A goalless draw would have been a more fair result

ATK FC missed their opportunity to go back to the top of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 points table after suffering a disappointing 1-0 loss against arch-rivals Kerala Blasters FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Sunday. It was a tight match, with a 70th minute Halicharan Narzary screamer sealing the result in favour of the away side.

At the post-match press conference, ATK assistant coach Manuel Perez provided his take on the contest and said, “It was 0-0 in the first half, both sides had chances but couldn’t score. We had chances in the second half, but they scored the opening goal. It was a really good goal. Congratulations to them.”

“But for me, a loss is not a fair result. A goalless draw would have been a more fair reflection of how the game transpired today. But it’s over now. This is football and we need to focus on the next match against FC Goa now,” he added.

ATK are currently in a three-way race against FC Goa and Bengaluru FC to finish at the summit of the table at the end of the league phase. Asked if the loss at home was a big blow, he opined, “For us, it wasn’t an easy game. We knew we were taking on Kerala. They have good players, very good strikers. Today’s result wasn’t what we wanted. Two very good teams played today and we lost.”

With the current table toppers Goa set to be ATK’s next opponent, Perez stressed the importance of the match and stated, “We will try to do our best against Goa. We will train hard this week to try and beat Goa. They are in first position and we want to be there, so it will be a motivation for us.”

Two big players missing from the ATK line-up on the night were David Williams and Edu Garcia, who missed out due to injuries. Asked about their status, Perez replied, “They are training normally and hopefully we will have a full squad in the next match.”

Read the Match Report here.

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