We can’t drop the intensity: ATK Mohun Bagan’s Antonio Habas ahead of Kolkata derby

Antonio Habas has demanded high intensity throughout the 90 minutes from his players ahead of the big Kolkata derby in the Hero Indian Super League 2021-22 at Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco da Gama on Saturday.

ATK Mohun Bagan took the three points in their opening fixture against Kerala Blasters FC. The scoreline read 4-2 handsomely in favour of the Mariners even though they had less possession than their opponents. The club had 44% possession and took 10 shots at goal, out of which five were on target and four of them resulted in goals.

ATK Mohun Bagan are unbeaten in the two matches against SC East Bengal in Hero ISL and will look to continue the trend on Saturday.

Leading up to the Kolkata derby, ATK Mohun Bagan manager Habas spoke to the media in the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference.

Do you have any special plans for the big match?

We have a special plan for every match. We don’t play all the matches in the same style with the same players. We have to assess the player and the opponents and then decide accordingly.

ATKMB won the two matches against SCEB last season. What is the key to success in a match like this?

The past doesn’t matter. We want to win the match and give 100% respect to the opponent.

What do you think of SC East Bengal’s performance in the opening match?

They have evidently changed from last season. They have a new coach and a lot of new players. The coach needs one or two years to execute the targets set by the management. In India everything is immediate. Final results are more important than the long term beneficiation of the club. This is not good.

Your team had a good result against Kerala Blasters FC but conceded two goals. Is that an area you’re looking to improve?

I think we have to be more ambitious. Last match in the second half, we weren’t as comfortable as we would like when they scored. We have to play the match with the same intensity for 90 minutes.

ATK Mohun Bagan did not play pre-season friendlies before the start of ISL but performed very well against Kerala Blasters FC. What’s the reason behind the success story?

We didn’t think it was necessary to play friendly matches in these conditions. We think we can prepare better this way. And we did the same last season.

Do you think you have enough weapons like Hugo Boumous, Roy Krishna, Liston Colaco and Joni Kauko in your team?

I would like you to ask me about Pritam Kotal, Carl McHugh, Prabir Das, Tiri, etc. A team is not 3-4 players. They are important players but I have to respect the rest of the team.


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