Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) Declaring that he was both excited and enthusiastic, new ATK head coach Teddy Sheringham on Saturday said he was looking forward to combining with compatriot and team technical director Ashley Westwood to ensure the third Indian Super League (ISL) title for the side this year.
“Looking forward to being the coach of ATK. I have been told about the club and its crazy fans..I am both excited and enthusiastic. It’s a lovely opportunity,” said England double World Cupper Sheringham in his first media conference in India.
Sherignham, who earned 51 caps for England, turned out in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups, as also the 1996 UEFA European Championship, scoring 11 goals.
He had a five-year stint with Manchester United, during which he won three English Premier League titles, and finished champions once each in FA Cup, FA Charity Shield, UEFA Champions League and Intercontinental Cup. The highlight of his career came in 1999, when he won a historic treble with United.
Sheringham said his playing days with Manchester United, when he handled pressure every day, would come in handy while coaching two-time ISL winners ATK.
“It’s exciting to take over the champions. Yes, adds certain pressure . I am looking forward to the pressure. It was the same when I was a player with MU, That should make it easy to deal with. It gives you a certain amount of understanding to deal with that,” he said.
Asked about his coaching philosophy, Sheringham said it was all about finding the winning team.
“That’s what matters.when you are playing sports. We will play attractive positive football. Obviously I have to learn very quickly about the Indian league”.
Sheringham conceded he had no knowledge of Indian soccer before being given the present assignment.
“I have spoken to English contingents who have been here in India for the last two-three years, managers, players. They all said they were very excited with the challenge, and had fantastic experience. So I am looking forward to that as well,” he said.
Sheringham said he received positive feedback from his England teammate David James, who was player-coach of the Kerala Blasters in 2014.
“He was very very positive about the experience that he had. He is willing to come back as well. That was very positive for me to hear,” he said.
Sheringham, who has in the past said that he did not like players charging at the referee, said he still stood by it.
“Every manager has a different way of portraying his teams. I don’t like the manner in which players get around the referee. I’d try to instil in my players that the referee’s decision is final, and they should try not to bring the game in to disrepute.”
Team owner Goenka said the ATK management was very impressed with Sheringham’s presentation. “We were very impressed with his approach to the game. That’s when we decided we will go for him. It took us a little while to finalise the formalities.”
He said for the fourth season, the ATK wanted to go with the winners, and so opted for Sheringham and Westwood.
“Both are used to winning. We want to go with winners. We want to go with people who are not overawed by success, those who can strategise success, deal with major people,” Goenka added.