Habas: Goa has always been an important team in the Hero ISL

ATK FC will be looking to continue their fine form in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 when they take on FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday. The home side will have to be wary of their leaky defence against a strong ATK attack, but the away side need to be cautious of Goa’s equally adept attack as well.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, head coach Antonio Lopez Habas gave his view on ATK’s upcoming challenge, “For me, this is another match, but we will work triple. It is a difficult match because it is at Goa’s home. They have always been an important team in the Hero ISL. Last season they were the finalists, and therefore we need to put in triple the effort.”

Adding to this, the Spaniard said, “We know that (Ferran) Corominas is a great player, but we do not have any special tactic for him. We have to play against Goa and not against one player. Normally I don’t want to choose a player from my team or from the opponent. I understand that football is a collective sport and not an individual sport.”

ATK ended NorthEast United’s unbeaten run after beating them 3-0 in their last game. “I think that in the last match the team had to show character and commitment on the pitch, especially against an unbeaten side like NorthEast United FC. I am happy with the performance of the team. We were very good tactically and I am positive about the future,” Habas said when asked about his team’s strong run of form.

The 62-year-old head coach also stressed on the importance of having local players in the team, “This is very important because (local players) are close to the fans. It’s very important for the team in the competition. I would like to have more (local) players from ATK, but it is a competition and we cannot get all the players we want. It’s important for the city, the club and the supporters.”

Joining Habas at the press conference was defender Salam Ranjan Singh, who said, “The environment (in the team) is really good. The coach expects us to do better. Right now, we are on top and we should not go down. The next game against Goa is a very tough one and we aim to stay on top.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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