Antonio Habas: Need to fight every day to achieve our target
ATK FC host Kerala Blasters FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata for a crucial Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 clash on Sunday. Undefeated at home so far this campaign, Antonio Lopez Habas' men will look to safeguard the record with a win and reclaim the top spot in the points table. In the reverse fixture back in the opening day of the season, ATK lost 2-1 against Kerala at Kochi but have improved significantly since then.
At the pre-match press conference, ATK head coach Habas pointed to the progression and said, “We are improving every day, it’s evident. But we still need a little more to be the big team I want us to be. In the season opener against Kerala, the team played well initially but after that was inconsistent. Now, we are in a good rhythm and are playing good football. But we need to fight every day to achieve our target for the season.”
One of the biggest positives for ATK so far this season has been the partnership between Roy Krishna and David Williams up top. The latter’s involvement in Sunday’s match, however, is in doubt after he picked up an injury in ATK’s last match against Mumbai City FC. Asked for an update on the Australian’s status, Habas stated, “We don’t know yet if David will play or not. We will assess that before the match. If he doesn’t, it will be an opportunity for another player. My idea of football is different, it’s not based on individuals.”
“You have to play every match with what you have. You can’t cry over missing players. You have to concentrate on the next match and look forward. I don’t want to waste time thinking about this,” he added.
ATK have strengthened their squad recently with the inclusion of two new players – midfielder Armando Sosa Pena, or Mandi, and defender Victor Mongil. Speaking about the latest acquisitions, Habas revealed, “I am very happy with the new inclusions – Mandi and Mongil. They are quality players and disciplined. For a coach, it’s important. I am very happy with both them. They are very, very important to us.”
Mandi, who accompanied the gaffer to the briefing, meanwhile, was full of praise for his new Indian colleagues. “We have good Indian players like Prabir Das, Pritam Kotal, Arindam Bhattacharja, and others. Sumit Rathi is a good young player. He can make it into the national team in a couple of years. Having them around makes things easier and is good for us,” the Spaniard opined.
Read the Match Preview here.