Gokulam Kerala bank on home support to upset ATK Mohun Bagan’s applecart

KOZHIKODE: Newly-crowned Hero ISL Champions ATK Mohun Bagan FC take on hosts Gokulam Kerala FC in the Group C opener of the Hero Super Cup at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode on Monday, April 10, 2023, at 5:00 pm IST.

Juan Ferrando-coached ATK Mohun Bagan edged Bengaluru FC on penalties after an exciting 2-2 draw in the Hero ISL final in Goa last month. After a three-week break, the Mariners will be back in action, aiming to become the first side to do an ISL-Super Cup double.

“There’s no shortage of motivation in the camp. The players are ready for the Super Cup,” said ATK Mohun Bagan assistant coach Bastab Roy.

“The Super Cup has a different format than the ISL. One bad day here, and you go back home. So, we’re taking things match by match,” he added.

Two-time Hero I-League champions Gokulam Kerala FC’s bid for a hat-trick of titles did not take flight this season as they couldn’t keep up with RoundGlass Punjab and Sreenidi Deccan in the title race. Gokulam finished the league in third place and were matched with Mohammedan Sporting in the Hero Super Cup Qualifiers, where they were too strong for the Kolkata side, brushing them aside 5-2.

Regarding the Malabarians, Roy said, “Gokulam are a good side. Playing on home soil will be advantageous for them because everybody knows how passionate the supporters are here in Kerala.”

Gokulam Kerala head coach Francesc Bonet, of course, is banking on home support to try and upset the ISL champions. He said, “We take the Super Cup as a great opportunity to show that we can compete against ISL sides. The other teams may not know too much about us, which could go in our favour. I hope our fans will come and cheer us on.”

The Spaniard knows that his side has their task cut out against ATK Mohun Bagan but sounded confident ahead of the game. “We believe we can win every match. They are a champion side, but we will have our chances and will go for the three points.”

The Hero Super Cup game between ATK Mohun Bagan FC and Gokulam Kerala FC will be telecast live on the Sony Sports 2 channel and streamed on Fan Code.

Also Read: Nishu Kumar: The defender with a habit of scoring splendid goals

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