Antonio Habas: We need to be alert against NorthEast
ATK FC will be up against NorthEast United FC in their next match of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Monday. The two-time champions are within touching distance of the top spot, and therefore, will be targeting all three points on Monday against an opponent, who have failed to win any of their last seven matches.
ATK head coach Antonio Lopez Habas, though, advised his players to exercise caution against a very capable Highlanders side. Speaking at his pre-match press conference, he said, “I think they (NorthEast) are a difficult opponent, just like all opponents in the Hero ISL. The difference between teams is very small. We have to be careful in the match. We have to concentrate. We have to be at our maximum discipline and show good attitude against NorthEast.”
“For us, it can be a tricky match. They play good football and have signed two good players. They have played two matches less compared to other clubs. We have to be alert for this match. NorthEast have good players in central midfield and attack. They are a good team. We have to be very, very alert. We absolutely respect NorthEast,” added the ATK head coach.
The ATK camp also provided an update on the fitness of David Williams and Pronay Halder. He revealed, “Williams was training this week with the team. We have to evaluate in the last training session. Maybe he has the possibility to be with us in the match. Pronay is continuing his process. In 10 days, he can be with team.”
Delving into the competitive nature of the Hero ISL this season, the 62-year-old ATK boss opined, “The league is more competitive. All teams have one player who can score goals and has something different. I think the league is more competitive now compared to before. The teams are more balanced and competitive. This is my perception.”
Striker Roy Krishna was also in attendance at the media briefing. Speaking about the team’s objectives, he said, “We have to focus on the future. We are playing good football. The table is really tight. On Monday, we have to switched on. We have a lot to play for. We are concentrating just on ourselves. We should not get over-confident but at the same time know who we are.”
After scoring eight goals in his first nine matches, Krishna hasn’t been on the scoresheet in his last four outings. The 32-year-old, however, claimed that he wasn’t too concerned with his recent goal-drought and said, “End of the day, I am working hard for the team and I am giving my best. Sometimes as a striker, you go through this phase where you don’t score. But I am just doing my part. I am getting in front of goal, which is a good thing. It is just a matter of time. Hopefully, Monday will be the day.”
Read the Match Preview here.