Habas shifts focus to next match, back to the drawing board for Brown

ATK registered a resounding 5-0 victory over newcomers Hyderabad FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata to secure their first points of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20. David Williams and Edu Garcia bagged two goals each, while Roy Krishna, too, opened his Hero ISL goals account with a fine strike.

At the post-match press conference, ATK head coach Antonio Lopez Habas was a happy man and stated, “I am very happy about the performance of the team, especially how we played in the first 45 minutes. We have to continue maintaining those levels. Next match, we play against Chennaiyin FC and now, I am thinking about that.”

Asked if the big win following a 2-1 loss in the first match against Kerala Blasters FC came as a surprise to him, the Spaniard opined, “Football is like this. One day you lose, the other day, you win. It’s important that the team keeps scoring. The confidence will be there now. We need to respect our opponents and continue working. We can’t relax. We can’t win 5-0 every day. It’s impossible,”

Garcia came off the bench to score two goals on the night. When quizzed if the performance could maybe earn him a spot in the starting XI for the next match, the Spaniard remarked, “I don’t like to talk about individual players. It’s good that Edu Garcia scored tonight. The more players score, it’s better for the team.”

Illustrating his take on the way his Indian contingent performed in the match, Habas said, “I don’t like to differentiate between the Indian players and the foreign-players. It’s a 24-member squad and we need to work as a team.”

Hyderabad head coach Phil Brown, meanwhile, admitted that ATK were the better side on the night and said, “Everything went wrong. Our preparation for pre-season has been very good. The fitness levels in games in pre-season have been superb. And the results as well. But nothing prepares you for the first game like the first game. And ATK came up trumps.”

Admitting his tactical error, the Englishman added, “I thought the system that we played would have suited playing against the system that ATK played in the first game against Kerala. But that proved not to be the case. Anything that could go wrong tonight, did go wrong. I’m coach of the team. I didn’t see the 5-0 result coming. I felt that we could give them a tough game. So, there’s a lot of hard work to be done. It was a poor performance today. We got to get back on the training ground tomorrow and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Read the Match Report here.

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