Stadium atmosphere one of the reasons for poor home show, says Molina

Kolkata, Nov 29 (IANS) Lack of atmosphere at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium, Atletico de Kolkata’s new home for this season, has been one of the reasons for the team’s poor run at home, head coach Jose Molina said here on Tuesday.

“The pitch is good, the grass is good. The only problem we have here is the lack of atmosphere which is not great,” said Molina, whose team qualified for the semifinals for the third time in a row after a 1-1 draw against Kerala Blasters.

“The three best stadiums we played this Ayear with best atmosphere was NorthEast (Guwahati), Kerala and Goa. We won there. We only won one match from six here. I don’t know if that is problem.

“Some of them who have played at the Salt Lake Stadium before have told me, the players, that the atmosphere there is great. It’s like a party at the three venues I just named. It’s not so much here,” the Spaniard said.

Molina though said he is happy with the fact that ATK are through to the semifinals despite drawing seven out of their 13 matches.

“I am happy to reach the semifinals. We tried to win the match but we knew one point is enough for us to qualify. At the end we did not take too many risks and instead went for the point. We play against Pune (next) and we will try to win too.

“Now we have time to recover some of the players. That is important as the semifinal is now what matters,” he said.

Molina conceded that ATK have, so far in the campaign, leaked silly goals.

“Somethings are wrong. We are suffering silly goals. Goals that are from mistakes without any reason. The team is working really well. In 13 matches we have only two defeats. We try to win against any opponent. I am happy, not absolutely.”

Kerala Blasters, who on the other hand will complete the semifinal lineup if NorthEast lose to already-qualified Delhi Dynamos on the morrow, are also happy with the result according to head coach Steve Coppell.

“Anybody who watched Kolkata will know they are good on counteratttacks. There were a lot of promising sitations but nothing came out of it. In the last ten minutes, both teams thought a point is good enough,” Coppell told media persons after the tie.

“We had a couple of injury problems. We had to take late calls on a few players. We had to change things around more or less in the last minute. Our shape was little bit lopsided. But looking at the way ATK played, we were fine with an extra man in midfield with Postiga around who can change the game,” he said.

–IANS

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