ATK Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal: Familiar foes set Derby goals
ATK Mohun Bagan marksman Dimitri Petratos scored a hat-trick against Kerala Blasters in the 5-2 win in Kochi on October 16. Fans are expecting some more fireworks from him when Juan Ferrando-coached side take on arch-rivals East Bengal in the ISL IX Derby on Saturday and the man himself, who will be playing his first marquee game since joining ATK Mohun Bagan, is ready to rock.
“Every match is important. But the Derby is always a little more special. I have played in a few Derbies in Australia and Saudi Arabia. It’s always a lot louder than the other games. But I have the experience now and I am looking forward to the occasion,” the 29-year-old striker told ATK Mohun Bagan media team.
He wants to enjoy the game and leave the field with a positive result against East Bengal. The former Newcastle Jets man wants to make the occasion memorable for the fans too. “I will do my best to score on Saturday. We will do our best to entertain the fans and get three points... My focus has always been to go out and enjoy my game... I have been saying this from day one... My job is not for one or two games but to deliver throughout the season. My focus is to make the fans happy. They come to watch us and our priority is to entertain them with a good brand of football,” he added.
Petratos also harped on teamwork rather than personal achievement. “I would not have scored the hat-trick (against Kerala Blasters) without the support of teammates. This is the most important thing from that game. I will try to combine well with teammates and get into the right position so that they can give me the ball.”
The likes of Petratos and Manvir Singh will depend a lot on Hugo Boumous for passes. “We are confident after the result against Kerala. But it’s a special game against East Bengal. The Derby is always a special game and different from any other match. We will play in front of a full house and we are excited about that,” the 27-year-old said.
East Bengal coach Stephen Constantine said the 3-1 win at NorthEast United FC on October 20 has given his team a big boost. “Yes it’s a huge morale booster. If you ask me all matches are important but at the same time I will be lying if I say a match against ATK Mohun Bagan is not special,” the Englishman told the East Bengal media team. The 60-year-old former India national team coach said his boys are improving with every practice session.