RIO DE JANEIRO, 22 July-2014, AP: Brazil has hired Dunga as the coach of the…
Dhiman Sarkar, Kolkata: It was under Jose Mourinho that Helder Postiga sealed a first-team berth at Porto but
beyond that too there’s a link between the player and coach. Rio Ave. It was Postiga’s last club before he became the Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) marquee for the second season of the Indian Super League (ISL); one where he scored five goals in 10 games in the second half of 2015-16.
And it was at Rio Ave that Mourinho’s father Felix lost his job on December 25, 1984, after getting them promoted and taking them to a cup final. Now coming out of a slump that had “football Einsteins” questioning his ability, a young Mourinho learnt after that sacking that past performances don’t matter.
Postiga was superb in the way he set up ATK’s first goal of ISL 3 and his link-up play with Iain Hume looked promising. Just as his brace did against Chennaiyin FC last year. But Postiga, whose goals helped Portugal past England in the 2004 Euro and the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals, has spent more time off the pitch tending to injuries than on it. ATK coach Jose Molina said nothing at Saturday’s pre-match media conference ahead of the game against FC Goa that indicated otherwise.
Not just that, ATK may also have to cope with the unavailability of Bikramjit Singh and central defender Tiri. With Arnab Mondal, Tiri has formed a defensive pairing crucial to ATK’s fortunes. Should Tiri be unavailable, Portuguese defender Henrique Sereno may step in, said Molina. “He has trained with us for over a week,” said Molina.
ATK do have a bit of history in their favour. They haven’t lost to FC Goa in the short history of the ISL and the visitors go into this fourth-round tie still looking for their first point.