ATK Mohun Bagan defender Subhasish Bose believes it’s important for his team to win their AFC Cup inter-zone semifinal tie against FC Nasaf in Uzbekistan on Wednesday as it can heavily boost their chances to go all the way in the prestigious continental club competition in Asia.
“It is my dream to be the AFC Cup champion. We are all determined to fulfil that dream. Our team is strong enough. With the arrival of Joni Kauko, Michael Soosairaj and Prabir Das, our strength has increased. If we can win the Nasaf match, it will be difficult to stop us,” he told the media ahead of the encounter against the Uzbek side.
Bose, who scored a goal and provided an assist in the team’s win against fellow Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) side Bengaluru FC in their Group D, South Zone encounter in the Maldives last month, has a lot of faith in the defensive prowess of Antonio Lopez Habas’ side.
“Our defence has played well enough in all three matches in the Maldives. Carl McHugh has adapted in a very short time. The last time in the [Hero] ISL, we played with three defenders, sometimes with four defenders. That’s not a problem. Our coach has already given us a lesson on how to play against Nasaf. Only by organising the defence will we jump for victory,” he said.
When asked if they had discussed among themselves the importance of wing play during their training in Dubai, Bose said: “In the last six days, we have practised a variety of wing play. The coach explained to us where Nasaf’s strengths and weaknesses are. The coach will decide how far we will go and how we will stop them.”
Finally, the 26-year-old India international pinpointed what makes ATK Mohun Bagan such a formidable team. “Our strength is our team’s solidarity. Our team is stronger than last time. There is a successful coach like Habas. There are people like Roy Krishna, David Williams and Manvir Singh for scoring goals. We have the best footballers of the national team in midfield and defence. Our reserve bench is also quite strong,” he said.