Basic idea of Mumbai City FC is similar to last season: ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Lopez Habas

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Lopez Habas is expecting a similar style of football from Mumbai City FC like the previous season, even though the Islanders have made a few significant changes to the roster.

The Mariners will be up against Mumbai City FC in a repeat of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 final, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, on Wednesday evening. Habas’ side have won two of their opening matches in the new season and are at the top of the table with six points.

The Spanish manager addressed the media during the pre-match press conference ahead of the mid-week kick-off.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

After watching Mumbai City FC lose to Hyderabad FC in the last game, do you think it would be easier to get revenge for last season’s final?

I think it’s an absolutely different situation. There’s a new manager for Mumbai City FC, there are new players, in some positions on the pitch. The basic idea of Mumbai City FC is the same for me. They are opening up in every match, every match is different and Mumbai City FC is a very good team.

You won the first two games of the season and it's a good start, but what are the areas you are still looking to improve as a team?

All have the possibility to, to improve with every match and know, they actually improve and not lose their level. I think we have to continue with our style of being offensive because we have our first line of five players playing in the attack all the time. We have to balance, you gotta compensate for the possibility of adapting with the defense. For that, it is important to assimilate the situation in attack and defence.

Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco are playing new roles in the team, as wing backs, how did you help them with the transition?

These are very important positions for us, we have possible players for us in that position in the likes of Prabir Das and Michal Soosairaj. I think Manvir and Liston are good level Indian players. Everyday, they have the potential to grow with every match and for me they are two very good players in Indian football.

Do you think Subasish Bose and Pritam Kotal have helped Manvir and Liston to fit into the role?

Similar, but different roles, because they have the possibility to play like a full back in a four back defensive and centre back or win-back in the defensive line with three or five defenders, the more equivalent player would be more important, because you have one player as a cover for three positions.

What are your views on the referees in the season so far?

They are very competitive referees. We have to respect and support them because the position of them is very difficult in the matches. My only proposal is to help them.

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