Mohun Bagan Super Giant head coach Antonio Lopez Habas was delighted after his team registered a convincing 3-0 win over Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Friday.  

The Mariners opened the scoring early in the game with Dimitri Petratos converting Manvir Singh’s pass with immaculate perfection. In the 67th minute, Jason Cummings doubled the lead. Substitute Armando Sadiku sealed the deal in the 80th minute bagging his fifth goal of the season, concluding the match 3-0 for Habas’ men.

Mohun Bagan SG wrapped up 2023 with three straight losses against Mumbai City FC, FC Goa and Kerala Blasters FC. But since the arrival of Habas at the wheel, the Mariners have remained unbeaten in the league since its restart in January. 

The head coach is happy with how the team has progressed under him and congratulated them for their complete performance against the Men of Steel. 

Evidently, the team has had a fantastic progression, until now. I congratulate my players, for their performance (tonight), for their sacrifice. This is the most important thing. And above all, the cohesion of the team is fantastic. This is the way for getting an important target,” stated Habas in the post-match press conference.

“Our team was absolutely superior and deserved the score of 3-0,” he added.

28-year-old winger, Manvir Singh, assisted two goals against Jamshedpur FC. The Punjab-born player also sent in the pass for the third goal but a deflection from a Jamshedpur FC player prevented the assist from being registered to his name. 

Full of praise for Singh, the Spanish tactician shared, “He (Singh) was the director, right. And that is a fantastic performance from Manvir, and the rest of the team also. I am convinced that he can be the best player in India, my opinion. I said that long time ago, now it’s coming, which is good news for Mohun Bagan SG, for the technical staff also.”

Proud of his versatility up front, Habas continued, “I only control his position in my club. And he can play in both sides. In the first moments of his career, he played as a striker. But I think that he can play in any position he wants because he is a good professional.”

Finnish midfielder Joni Kauko, who had parted ways with Mohun Bagan SG in July 2023, made an surprise return to Kolkata in February 2024. With his arrival, the midfield of Habas’ side seem to have been injected with an elixir. In the five appearances since his return, Kauko has created six goal scoring chances while assisting thrice. 

On being asked if Kauko’s addition to the squad makes his team stronger in the middle, the 66-year-old said, “Evidently. (He is a) good player. Joni got to be patient because this is one year, (when he had) no play in competitions, or professional football.  We have to be putting in the minutes. Maybe one match (he) can play 65 minutes and in another, he can play 75 minutes.”

“And we need him,” Habas said.