Mariners hope Roy Krishna is back among goals as Highlanders pose fresh challenge

·2-min read

Margao, Jan 2 (PTI) ATK Mohun Bagan will hope star striker Roy Krishna returns to the scoresheet as they lock horns with NorthEast United FC in a tough Indian Super League match at the Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.

The Fijian marksman started the season on a high, scoring five goals in as many matches but only to hit a slump as he's yet to score a goal in his last three appearances.

The Antonio Lopez Habas-coached side has struggled to get going against a dominant Chennaiyin FC in their previous match and settled for a goalless draw.

The result was mainly due to some heroic efforts from goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya who has kept as many as six clean sheets in the ISL.

But the Spaniard gaffer is not overly worried and backed Krishna to come good soon.

'I would have been worried if we didn't create chances to score but in football, you can do something in one situation and cannot do that in another. In football, all situations are different during the 90 minutes,' Habas said ahead of their match against the Highlanders.

'I have to analyse the performance of the whole team and not just Roy Krishna in the last matches. The team's behaviour and performance is 100 per cent. Roy Krishna can score goals but more important is their attitude and overall performance.' The Gerard Nus-coached side too settled for a draw in their last match, a 2-2 result against Odisha that came on the back of a 0-1 defeat to Jamshedpur FC, their first loss of the season.

'They're one of the hardest teams to play against and there's no question about it,' he said.

'We're seeing why. We knew they would be on the top because they have really amazing players. They have been consistent through the years. They retained many players that they got in the squad and that obviously helps in a short tournament like this.' While Ghanaian strike man Kwesi Appiah is doubtful for the game, much will rest upon Federico Gallego and the impressive young triumvirate of Lalengmawia, Rochharzela and Ninthoinganba Meetei.

The trio will need to provide the impetus going forward as the Guwahati side looks to reboot into top form against top opposition.

Match starts: 7.30pm. PTI TAP ATK ATK