Teddy Sheringham: Need to convert our possession and chances into goals

ATK have not had the best of starts to Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18, having managed to secure just two points from their opening three fixtures, which has them languishing at the bottom of the points table. On Thursday, the defending champions travel to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai to face an in-form Chennaiyin FC side.

In the pre-match press conference, ATK’s head coach Teddy Sheringham was asked how different his tactics will be to overcome his team's slump. He said, “We have a lot of plans. But as you said, it has not been the best of starts. We have had a few setbacks along the way, but I believe we are not far away. We are trying to do something and change it from last season. We have got a new set of players and a new schedule. We feel like we are not far away and we need to do better, I know that.”

He further added, “There’s always pressure on me. No one wants to be at the bottom of the table. It’s early days, but we have had a couple of very good away draws, and we got undone by a couple of mistakes at home. So, if you look at it from a positive side, it’s not too bad and I am very happy with my squad. I am very happy with the things we are learning as a team and we all just need to put it together on the match day now.”

On Thursday, ATK will be missing the services of Robbie Keane, Carl Baker and also, Eugeneson Lyngdoh due to injuries. In the absence of key individuals, ATK have failed to give a proper account of themselves on the field, but the Englishman believes there is only one way that they can get their groove back. “We need goals for starters. We have had one goal and that has only come from a free-kick. We need to convert our possession and chances into goals. We had two 0-0 draws, and we felt that we could have won those games. That’s my take on both away games. I might be a bit harsh but we felt that we edged both games. But you got to score goals to win games. We will be hoping to improve on that,” he said.

Facing a side who head into the contest on the back of two consecutive victories, Sheringham is wary of the threat Chennai can pose at home. “I think whenever you play away from home, it’s a tough ask. I know it’s very hard for people to understand but crowds do have a say in the matter. They can spur you on and help you. If you know the surroundings a little bit better, there is no doubt about it. The effect of playing at home is easier than playing away from home. But there are going to be times when we lose home games and then we will need to win our away games. That’s how we stand at the moment,” he concluded.

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