ATK Mohun Bagan stars flew on Saturday for the AFC Cup (Group D, South Zone) campaign, which will take place in the Maldives from August 18. Australia’s David Williams did not give up on pressure and expectations and recently extended his contract with the Indian Super League (ISL).
“I love the pressure and feel like I can perform under it. But I am experienced and big enough that I can do every game the same way, so I am not swayed by the opportunity,” Williams told ATK Mohun Bagan media reports Indian football news.
ATK Mohun Bagan will meet the winners of the play-off match between ISL Bengaluru FC and Club Eagles (Maldives) on August 18, followed by matches on August 21 (vs Majia Sports and Recreation, Maldives) and August 24 (Basundhara Kings Bangladesh).
“ATKMB can go a long way in the AFC Cup. In this global pandemic situation, I think football is based on mindset. We have all been thrown into different situations because of COVID-19 and its restrictions, bubbles, and rules, and in the end, we have one thing to do, which is to be on the field and play football for 90 minutes. This club makes every effort to produce the best team possible. I think we have a great chance to make progress,” he said.
This will be the third ISL season for Williams under head coach Antonio López Habas. Williams, who scored seven goals and provided five assists for the 2019/20 ATK FC Trophy win, believes it is important to have a coach like Habas if a club wants to win silver.
“The coach is simple. He has high expectations, so we have to present them. If a coach doesn’t have such high expectations or pushes his player, I can’t see a coach succeed anywhere,” he added.
“We have our own way of playing and we can adapt to other systems and what other teams do. We are in tune with their training and strategy and it works, so we can’t complain as players. Our fitness coach Alvaro’s circuits are quality and help to achieve optimum levels of fitness.”
ATKMB has been training in Kolkata for almost two weeks. Hugo Boumous, one of the club’s seven new signings since the ISL’s final loss to Mumbai City FC, was upbeat ahead of the AFC Cup games. “I am happy to believe that I will play in an international tournament wearing a traditional Indian club shirt. The first match is very important in any tournament. If we win it will be easier to move on.”
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