We want to win this league unbeaten: Steven Dias

Playing their first season in MFA Elite League, Ambernath Utd – Atlanta FC coached by former India International Steven Dias has been on a rampaging run so far having beaten every opponent they have faced.

Since the start of the league, Ambernath Utd – Atlanta FC have been the most dominating side in the league and looks quite on course to grabbing their maiden MFA Elite league title in the very first attempt. In the twelve games that they have played, they have won every single one of them including 7 games where they have won by more than 5 goal margin.

Ambernath Utd – Atlanta have conceded just 4 goals in their entire campaign while in the process pumping in 53 goals. In an exclusive interview with us, Head Coach Steven Dias speaks about the team environment, the difference between ISL and state league setup, and they aim to win the league unbeaten.

EXCERPTS:

1. 12 wins in a row, a healthy gap at the top of the league table. How is the feeling within the team?

Well, it’s a great feeling within the team. Everyone is very happy including the management. But we don’t want to take it easy till the league is over. So we keep going and keep performing till the last match of this season.

2. You have been part of the ISL coaching setup before and now you took up the head coach role in the Mumbai league. How different are the two and what are the challenges you feel?

There are many challenges in local leagues. One of them is the timing of the training and matches. ISL is a proper professional setup, where everything is planned, from diet training to players’ proper recovery. Over here, we play our matches sometimes in the morning at 11:00 AM, sometimes at afternoon 2:30 PM or 4:30 PM. Very difficult to keep high intensity in this Mumbai heat.

But the way boys have been performing in this heat, each and every match, I can’t ask for more than this from them. We have a well-balanced team in every position. Healthy competition within the team takes place in the playing team. That’s why we have these results till now. Each and every player have a desire to perform and win.

3. Both attack and defense have been top-notch with 53 goals scored already and just 4 conceded. Who do you think has been crucial for this?

Well, I think the whole team performing as a unit has been crucial to our success. They are well organized and compact when they are defending and equally fast in the attack. There is also a certain amount of individual brilliance in every position. In training, the team has been very keen to learn new things and is willing to do whatever instructions I ask them to follow. I am very lucky to have this kind of team. The support of management in giving us this freedom is very credible, I have received immense support from Deepu bhai and Allen Contractor throughout this campaign.

4. 2004 Arsenal was regarded as ‘the invincible’ because they went undefeated through the league. Is that on your mind too for this campaign? It looks quite possible.

Yes of course we want to win this league unbeaten and yes it does look very possible. However, we do not and should not take any team lightly. I have told the boys to not take any team lightly or think that they are weak. Each and every match, each and every goal, and each and every point is important for us to become champions.

5. Are you planning to test the bench strength and field some reserve players in coming games, considering nobody seems able to stop this club from winning anyways?

Well to be frank I don’t have any bench players who haven’t got a good run. Since the first match, we have been rotating players and only 4-5 players have played most of the minutes. Rest I’m trying to give them chance from the first match. And I’m happy that whoever has got the chance they have performed well.

There are 2-3 players coming from injury and as soon as they get fit, we will bring them in and they will get their chances and I can see in training they are waiting for their chance to perform. We have a good bunch of players who stay together on and off the field and that’s very important for a team to perform. If they stay together till the end of this season nobody can stop them.

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also Read: SSB’s Superhero duo dreams for Blue Tigresses call-up

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