‘Happy with the three points but we have to improve’: Habas demands precision after thumping win

Kerala Blasters FC slumped to a defeat in the first game of the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season, coming up short against a clinical ATK Mohun Bagan. The scoreline at the end of the ninety read 4-2 in favour of the Kolkata-based outfit, with star signing Hugo Boumous scoring a first-half brace, Roy Krishna converting a penalty kick, and Liston Colaco scoring an audacious curler that evaded Albino Gomes in goal.

Sahal Abdul Samad volleyed home an equalizer in the 24th minute for Kerala Blasters and Jorge Pereyra Diaz scored his side’s second goal from a tight angle in the 69th minute. ATK Mohun Bagan will look to build on their impressive start when they square off against SC East Bengal on November 27.

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Habas reflected on his team’s performance while speaking at the official post-match press conference:

Here are the excerpts from Habas’ press conference:

Does this win lay a marker for the season ahead?

All the stars had to be the team, the quality, no one player or another player and we have good players, but we have to improve a lot. I’m not happy with the second half because the team was relaxing and had a lot of confidence, I don't want that. We have to improve many things.

Did Hugo Boumous and Liston Colaco justify their price tag with tonight’s performance?

They were good players, but we have a lot of other players who are good, but we had to build a team, not one star and another star. They are quality players and this is a quality team. After that, one player had to be on the top, but our idea is quality play all the time

Was conceding two goals in the game a problem?

We had many opportunities and many chances more to score. But it’s the first match and we need more precision. I’m happy with the three points but we had to improve in the second half.

What are your views on the new rule which ensures sides have an extra Indian player on the pitch?

It's good for the ISL. But I think in my opinion, the more important thing is that the foreign players who are coming (to the Hero ISL) have good quality.

How do you feel is the balance in the team between senior players and younger players?

Good balance because we don’t have many players who are many years old, Subhashish (Bose) is 26(years), Pritam is 26-27(years), and (Deepak) Tangri is a little less. I have been happy with the performance, Maybe this season, they can be good players for the national team.

Are you looking forward to the derby against SC East Bengal on 27th November?

No, now we rest, recover the team, and after that, think about the opponent SC East Bengal. For me, this is one more match because it’s not five or six points, only three points in the play. I don’t want to play the match before, I want to play in the moment.

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