Williams: I like pressure and feel I can perform under it
Star striker David Williams is not getting bogged down by pressure and expectations ahead of ATK Mohun Bagan’s campaign in the AFC Cup (Group D, South Zone). He recently extended his contract with the club and will now fly out to the Maldives on Saturday morning along with his team-mates.
“I like pressure and feel I can perform under it. But I am experienced and old enough to treat every game similarly so I’m not affected by the occasion,” he told the ATK Mohun Bagan media team.
“ATKMB can go very far in the AFC Cup. In this worldwide situation, I think football is based on mentality. We are all thrown into different situations because of COVID-19 and its restrictions and bubbles and rules and what not but ultimately, we have a job to do which is on the pitch and to play football for 90 minutes. This club is doing everything they can to make the best squad possible to be successful. I think we have a strong chance of progressing,” he added.
It will be the third Hero ISL season for Williams under head coach Antonio Lopez Habas. Williams, who scored 7 goals and provided 5 assists in ATK FC’s trophy win in 2019-20, believes having a coach like Habas is a must if a club wants to win silverware. “The coach is simple. He has high expectations so we need to deliver. If a coach doesn’t have these high expectations or pushes his player, then I can’t see a coach being successful anywhere,” he said.
“We have our way of playing and can adjust accordingly to other systems and what other teams are doing. We are in a rhythm with his training and his tactics and it’s working so we can’t have any complaints as players. The circuits from our fitness coach Alvaro are quality and help gain peak fitness levels,” he added.
On his contract extension with the Mariners, the Aussie said: “It feels great. I have a good connection with the club and the coaching staff and players and I am happy to be back here again with a strong squad that I know can be successful this coming season.”
“For me, it has always been like, I have done everything to help the club on the pitch and the club has helped me off the pitch. They give everything they can to all players to perform in the best way possible. It makes me feel pretty great and right at home.”
The 33-year-old urged ATK Mohun Bagan fans to throw their weight behind the team ahead of the continental club competition where they kick off their campaign on August 18 (vs winners of the play-off match between Bengaluru FC and Club Eagles), followed by matches on August 21 (vs Maziya Sports and Recreation) and August 24 (vs Bashundhara Kings). “As a club, we are together. As fans, we need to support together to bring joy to the Maroon and Green side of Kolkata. The city has been great to me so the only way I can give back is to do the best I can for ATKMB,” he said.