Earlier this month ATK Mohun Bagan fans were left in shock and dismay when the Indian Super League (ISL) side announced the departure of their star striker Roy Krishna.

After spending three seasons at Kolkata the 34 years old Fijian parted ways with the Kolkata Giants. Krishna has scored 36 goals and 18 assists in his 60 ISL matches.

Roy Krishna
Roy Krishna in action

This surprising move evoked a lot of questions. Thus Football Monk sat in an exclusive interview with the star forward as he got up close and personal about leaving the club, his plans next, and many more.

Leaving ATK Mohun Bagan was not Krishna’s decision

Quizzed about his reason to leave ATK Mohun Bagan Krishna quipped, “It was not my decision”. He further added, “I think it was more of the coach who wanted to play a different style and I was informed I wasn’t fitting in the style”.

Roy believes, “This is part of football – you gotta move on. This time a new coach came in and all things changed.”

“But I can’t thank enough the management who helped me in the first season when I went there.”

Asked whether he had spoken to Juan while leaving Krishna said, “I didn’t speak to him. I was a bit emotional when I heard I’m not playing”.

Roy Krishna was not informed prior

Speaking on the Mariners and their support Krishna opined, “This crowd is very special to me. I was lucky that I met the fans in the last game.” “I went to every side of the stadium to thank them, so I think there was a leader appreciation showing to them“, he added.

Roy believes it would have been better if he was informed about the departure before his last game.

“It’s hard to answer this but like I said if they told me early then, of course, I would have come out and appreciated more and engaged more with the fans in the last game.”

This club is very special to me, the fans are special and they have a special place in my heart. All I can say is thank you for being so supportive – from the first season

Roy Krishna prefers Habas

In his three seasons at Kolkata Roy has played under both Antonio Lopez Habas and Juan Ferrando. Asked about his take on the two the forward said, “I learned a lot and I respect them both. But I would lean more towards Habas. Because he had more success and I have worked with him for two and a half seasons. And I have just known Juan for the last few months”

“For me, Habas was like a father figure. He helped me, pushed me and we won the first season. And in the second season, we went to the final”

Speaking on the tactical part of both the gaffers, Roy opined

“With Habas we all defended. I think we all tried to help each other regardless of our positions. We knew what we had to do as a team. Under Juan, we kept the ball more which is different from what Habas used to play.”

Why ATK Mohun Bagan is missing the title?

Krishna believes lack of performance is one of the reasons behind ATK Mohun Bagan missing the championship. He also focused on the fact that players faced a lot of mental issues while living inside the bubble last season.

He opined, “The first season we played for each other, and we defended as a team. But at ATK Mohun Bagan, I don’t know I could be wrong we didn’t perform.”

He further added, “And the league is getting better every season. So it’s harder and we need to perform. I think we have been there and hopefully, this club can win next season”

On the #RemoveATK campaign

The Mohun Bagan fans have been running a rage against the current ATK Mohun Bagan management for the last two seasons. And being with the team Krishna is quite sound about the ongoing feud.

Speaking on it he said, It’s sad to see the fans and the management are on different paths. I just pray and hope in the future they can get to work together because it’s a big club“.

Returning to India on charts

Roy seemed quite excited about his next challenges. As he said, “I finished the AFC cup with a goal. I needed it to boost my confidence and we qualified.” “Personally I am looking to stay fit and keep myself ready to perform wherever I land next”, he added

Asked about a possible return to India Krishna said, “I hope so. My heart is just to play football. Besides India, my manager is also looking for opportunities in Asia and Europe. We gonna come to a decision when it is right for us.”

Speaking on when can we expect clarity on his future club the star strikes quipped with a smile.

“No holiday for me yet, we are just running around sorting some stuff. We need a holiday soon so hopefully, we can sort out everything and go on a holiday.”

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By Prachyaprachetah Sarkar

Trying to travel the journey of life via the game of football.