Have to bounce back, can’t keep looking for excuses: ATK Mohun Bagan’s Antonio Habas

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Habas wants his team to put the past behind and brace themselves for the next game, as his side faces Jamshedpur FC in their fourth game of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season on Monday at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

The two-time Hero ISL winner revealed that his team have no excuses and backed his players to bounce back after the 5-1 defeat against rivals Mumbai City FC. Further, Habas added that last match’s loss doesn’t affect his strategies for Monday’s game and hailed the match against Jamshedpur FC to be a fair and competitive one.

Ahead of his side’s battle against Jamshedpur FC, the 64-year-old addressed the media during a pre-match press conference.

Here are the coach’s experts from the press conference:

Jamshedpur FC have been good so far in this season. What difference are you seeing in the team this season as compared to the last season?

Their coach [Owen Coyle] is a serious coach, I respect him for what he’s done with Jamshedpur FC. I believe that the match will be a competitive one.

What do you think are the strong points of Jamshedpur FC that can be a threat?

Jamshedpur have a quality midfield with several foreign players and Indian players. They are a difficult team and a competitive one, with a solid attack and defense.

What went wrong against Mumbai City FC in the last match?

For me this match is the past, we have no excuses whatsoever. It’s very important for me to not keep looking for excuses. Mumbai got the better of us this time.

This is the first time in your coaching career at Kolkata that you’ve conceded five goals. How does that affect you?

I have experienced many good seasons with Kolkata, and one day there’s a possibility of losing such a big match but you have to analyse it. It’s football, anything is possible here.

Considering ATK Mohun Bagan have won their matches playing three defenders, why did you change the formation in your last game?

You have the possibility to play with three defenders, four defenders, five defenders, as it depends on how you use your flanks to create the game. In the second half of the last match, we played with four defenders because we had 4-5 possibilities to create the game.

The offence was blunt in the last game. Do you think there was extra pressure on the defence?

The players are also humans, not just the players you see from outside. They have the determination to give their 100% in their performances in such situations. So, we did improve immediately in the last match.

Do you want to forget about the last match or take this as a learning experience and move on to the next match?

We have to continue with our philosophy, step by step in every match. I can’t take one match’s result into the next match because in this league you immediately play the next match in three days, so we have to bounce back which I believe is a good thing.

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