It has been a frustrating season for ATK and India midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh. The former Bengaluru FC player was sidelined for a large part of the Indian Super League (ISL) season after picking a knee injury in the side’s third round clash against Jamshedpur FC.
Now in the process of his rehabilitation after undergoing surgery, the 31-year-old was in New Delhi on Saturday for the launch of Adidas’ Tango League in India.
Despite missing out on the majority of the season to injury, Eugeneson is taking it all in his stride as a sportsman.
“It is frustrating but life as a sportsperson goes this way. So I am taking it in a very positive way. I am three months into my surgery now and have been doing my rehabilitation. I am on the verge of getting fit and should get there by the end of April. So obviously I will be ready for the next season,” he told Goal.
Asked what his aims for the next season are given how much time he has already spent on the sidelines, Eugeneson is crystal clear with his reply.
“I want to win the league, I want to win the ISL. This was my third year in the league so obviously next year I want to win it. It is important for me to win trophies and also ATK. My main aim is to help the team and achieve that,” he replied.
While it was a harsh season for the Shillong-born midfielder personally, it did not get any better for his side ATK as they finished a dismal ninth, sacking head coach Teddy Sheringham mid-way. Ashley Westwood too was given the boot with Robbie Keane eventually being handed over the reins.
When queried on what went wrong for the Kolkata outfit, Eugeneson listed the lack of a full strength squad as the main issue.
“I think injury setbacks. Some players were available and some were not at times. We never had our full strength squad and it all just kicked off from there. We were also unlucky at times. There were games where we played very well but still lost. It’s a season that we should forget and start from scratch next season," the midfielder explained.
Eugeneson also revealed that he has been in touch with India national team coach Stephen Constantine during his spell on the treatment table.
"Yes after I got my injury, he (Constantine) did call me up to check my progress. He was very supportive of the situation and very kind. He has given me a lot of confidence,” he stated.
India sealed qualification for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 to be held in the UAE in October last year. The ATK man is looking forward to the continental event and is targeting a progression into the knock-out stages for India.
“Obviously our aim is go there and perform and do our best. Obviously any competition we take part in, we want to win. So we are going to try our best to do that and get past the group stages and take it from there,” he said.
Replying to a query on which Indian midfielder caught his eye in the ISL this year, Eugeneson said, “I did like Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin), Lallianzuala Chhangte (Delhi Dynamos) and Rohit Kumar of Pune City. These three midfielders performed well in the ISL.”