Habas: Happy to be at top but will have to improve to stay there

It was a match of many chances but no goals at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Sunday as Odisha FC and ATK played out an entertaining goalless draw. The point, however, sends ATK one clear of Bengaluru FC at the top of the table with 10 points from five matches.

Talking about the match and the result at the post-match press conference, ATK head coach Antonio Lopez Habas noted, “Maybe for tonight, one point is good for us. Today, the team didn’t play good. It is important to get these points when we are not particularly playing well. It was good that we didn’t concede a goal. Today was like that. We have to improve. We may be at the top of the table, but we will need to improve if we are to stay there.”

The ATK defence looked to be under pressure in the tie, particularly in the first-half. Asked if it was a concern, the Spaniard opined, “I think it wasn’t a problem with the defence. We had some issues in the first-half because the central midfielders weren’t operating correctly. But I think we solved them in the second-half and had more opportunities to score and denied the opposition too many chances as well.”

In their five matches so far, ATK’s performance levels have fluctuated match by match. Addressing the issue with consistency, Habas remarked, “This is a new team. We have 7-8 new players in the first XI as compared to last season. A lot of the other teams have players who have been playing together for a long time.”

“We are taking things match by match. After that we will think about making it to the semis or anything else,” he added.

The match saw several penalty claims being turned down by the referee on either end of the pitch. Pressed for his take on these incidents, Habas stated, “It was impossible to judge these from my position. I cannot give my opinion about these. I think it was a fair result.”

Read the Match Report here.

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