Real Kashmir's footballer Muhammad Hammad

New Delhi [India], Nov 12 : After finishing third at the I-League standings last season, Real Kashmir FC’s Muhammad Hammad on Tuesday said that the side will take the learning from the current season and will try to show a better performance next year.

“There are a lot of big teams in the I-League. There is good competition. Even we did not expect that we would play like that, but slowly we created momentum and we finished third in the table. In this season, we will show better performance as there is a lot of competition within the side. Our main focus has always been to create a good atmosphere within the team. If you gel as an outfit, it always orders well for the side. The positive atmosphere has always helped us,” Hammad told ANI.

Real Kashmir’s co-founder Sandeep Chattoo also lauded the side for coming out triumphant after battling tough situations in the I-League tournament. He also referred to the Pulwama incident and said that they have could have finished higher on the table if the Pulwama attack did not take place.

On February 14 this year, 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a Jaish-e-Mohammed orchestrated terror attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

The incident took place when a CRPF convoy, consisting of around 2,500 personnel, was attacked by a suicide bomber who rammed a car laden with explosives into one of the buses on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.

“When we finished third in the I-League table, we were title contenders till Pulwama happened. At that time, Minerva Punjab refused to come to Kashmir to play the match, we were aiming for the title as we had defeated Chennai. The match with Punjab was a home game and we were confident of winning the title. But they refused to come here, realistically speaking we would have finished better, but we were glad to finish at the third spot,” Chattoo said.

“We need to concentrate on our game. We have a diverse culture among the side, as many players from different religions represent us. It has become very composite, every player has gelled in completely,” he added.

The I-League 2019/20 season will begin from November 30 this year and Real Kashmir would take on East Bengal in their first match of the tournament on December 3.


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