Kolkata: Despite being on a roll after recording two back-to-back victories, Atletico de Kolkata are not taking anything for granted considering it is still early in the 10-week-long ISL, goalkeeping coach Deshi Bhaktawer said on the eve of their match against Delhi Dynamos FC.
"They (Delhi Dynamos) are a very good side. They were a little bit unfortunate (against Pune) in their last match but we are not taking anything for granted, we know exactly how hard it is. We respect every single team," the South African coach said.
"It's a long long way to travel, it's a long road ahead, we are taking one match at a time," the former Orlando Pirates and Arcadia Shepherds custodian added. ATK have been the standout performers winning both their matches with ease and showed that they're so far the only team among the eight franchises to have already settle down. Bhaktawer said their pre-season training in Madrid gave them an opportunity to gel well.
"It was very important... We had about 45 days, 90-odd training sessions, it's important to get them understand well and gel them off the field as well." Indian goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury has been a standout performer under the bar for Atletico and the South African said ISL provides a tremendous platform for everybody.
"It's a platform for every single player. No one player we are focusing on. It's a team game, everybody works together. It's a huge platform. I've seen massive improvement among the Indian players in terms of their technical, tactical abilities."
Asked what they would do to contend Italian star Alessandro Del Piero, he said, "We have not thought anything in particular. We have just made everybody aware. We will go out there and play a normal game and focus on what we do best. I don't think there would be any sort of change that we normally do."
Their mercurial medio Borja Fernandez faces suspension after he got a double yellow in their outing against NorthEast United FC but Bhaktawer said it would give others an opportunity.
"Surely, we will miss him. But at the same time it gives an opportunity for others on the bench to step up and show what he can do," he said without revealing who would replace Borja.
The match would start at 4.30 pm in the muggy weather conditions of the city, but he said it cannot be an excuse. "The conditions are same for every team. As professional footballers, you learn to adapt to all types of condition. it's on the day, same for both the teams."