ATK already have this pressure of defending the Indian Super League (ISL) title and with the team not being able to perform well this season, the team management, coach Teddy Sheringham and also the players are possibly coming under a lot of fire off late.
As of January 17, the Kolkata franchisee remain seventh in the ISL points table having earned 12 points from their nine games so far.
The presence of former Premier League star striker Robbie Keane has not also helped much in their season so far as the former Liverpool forward has often been injured and Sheringham might not have actually managed to find the proper team chemistry.
As a result, ATK have taken the decision of releasing three players in the form of Finnish forward Njazi Kuqi, former Bolton and West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and Indian defender Augustin Fernandes.
The trio has been replaced with former Swansea and Birmingham City midfielder David Cotterill, ex-Northern Ireland football team striker Martin Paterson and Indian goalkeeper Soram Poirei, who has formerly played for ISL side Delhi Dynamos as well as Bengaluru FC.
We are excited to have David, Martin and Soram on board with us. I hope we can integrate them quickly in our squad, so that they can start firing for the rest of the season.
- Teddy Sheringham.
"It is an honour to play for ATK. Kolkata has hosted the biggest teams and players in the past and has a rich footballing history. To play for the two-time ISL champions is a challenge which I am excited to take on," Cotterill said in a statement, as quoted by IANS.
"I look forward to score goals for ATK and hopefully help the team in qualifying for the play-offs. We all know the pressure that comes for playing for the two -time ISL Champions. I hope to enthral my fans and deliver with my performances," Paterson said.
Updated ATK squad
Goalkeepers – Debjit Majumder, Soram Poirei, Kunzang Bhutia.
Defenders – Anwar Ali, Ashutosh Mehta, Jordi Montel, Keegan Pereira, Nallappan Mohanraj, Prabir, Tom Thorpe.
Midfielders – Bipin Thounaojam, Carl Baker, Conor Thomas, David Cotterill, Darren Caldeira, Eugenson Lyngdoh, Hitesh Sharma, Ronald Singh, Rupert Nongrum, Shankar Sampingiraj.
Forwards – Jayesh Rane, Jose Egas dos Santos Branco, Martin Paterson, Robbie Keane, Robin Singh.