Habas: All matches in the Hero ISL this season are competitive

ATK FC will be looking to get back to the top of the table when they hit the road to face Hyderabad FC at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Saturday. The former champions come into the tie on the back of their second defeat in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20. Their form, however, hasn’t been bad and head coach, Antonio Lopez Habas acknowledged that ahead of the tie.

“Football is about winning or losing. I think we performed well against FC Goa. I think now (the loss against them) is in the past. I want to talk about the next match against Hyderabad. The Goa match is in the past,” said the Spaniard while speaking at his pre-match press conference.

“I think the match will be a very, very difficult match against Hyderabad. They have good players and a good coach. It will be a very difficult match for us. In this Hero ISL season, all matches are very competitive. A small decision can change the score,” he added.

The ATK boss also felt that his side weren’t weak at defending set-pieces, stating, “We are training every day to improve in different situations on the pitch in the match. I am very positive with the performance of the players in this week. Goals are hard to come by in football in one way. In football, you have to score in one way or another. It’s impossible to analyze every situation in the match.”

Finally, Habas revealed the injury concerns for his side ahead of the Hyderabad fixture, he said, “We have injuries to Carl McHugh, John Johnson and Anas Edathodika. The rest of the players are fit to compete in the match.”

Striker and top-scorer, Roy Krishna had joined his coach at the pre-match briefing, and he began by rebuffing claims that ATK were too dependent on him. “Football is not just a one-person game. It’s a team game and I’m just doing my part. When you score as a striker, you get all the credits. But you look at the building up from the goalkeeper, to the defence, to the midfield. So, everyone is playing their role. We are just enjoying. It’s good.”

“I think we will not win all the matches. We are disappointed (after the Goa loss). In this week, all the boys regrouped really well in training. They showed it in training, but what’s done is done. Our main focus is on Hyderabad now. They’re a good side. We respect them but this week, we’ve been training really well,” maintained Krishna as he looked back on the Goa tie.

Read the match preview here.

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