Robbie Keane: Have to give the defence credit

ATK brought an end to their eight-game winless run by pipping NorthEast United FC 1 – 0 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 on Sunday. Robbie Keane scored the only goal in the match as ATK avoided finishing last. The Irishman, who was recently appointed ATK’s caretaker coach, addressed the media post-match and underlined the importance of the win, while also praising the defence for the clean sheet.

“Most importantly, we came away with a win and it was not easy,” Keane stated. “After the last few games the confidence was very low. We had conceded nine goals in two games and considering that, it was difficult to get a clean sheet. So, I have to give the defence credit. We defended very well and put the bodies on the line. Most importantly we got three points, because that is what we play football for. I hope this win will build the confidence of the players.”

South African Sibongakonke Mbatha played only three matches for the outgoing champions but he has made an immediate impact and Keane lauded the player by saying, “He has played just three games. He is tireless, and we love the effort that he puts in. I think you will see a lot more of him in the future.”

Meanwhile, NorthEast United FC head coach Avram Grant shared his disappointment after they failed to make the most of their opportunities. “We created chances, but we could not score goals,’ he said. “This has been our story in the league. Chances after chances were created by us, and from one chance of theirs, they scored. This is our problem. But I think we can take a lot of good things with us. We know how to win, because we have done it this year.”

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