Mohun Bagan SG head coach Antonio Lopez Habas is anticipating another challenging outing as the Mariners will square off against current table-toppers Odisha FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

Since Habas took over the team back in January, Mohun Bagan SG have been unbeaten in their last four ISL matches. The Mariners, who are currently placed in the second spot in the points table after securing 29 points in 14 games, will be determined to secure a victory to go to the top of the table. Notably, Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera holds his joint-highest 80% win rate against two-time ISL Cup winner Habas in the league.

Habas acknowledged Odisha FC’s squad depth and shared respect for their Spanish head coach, Lobera. But feels his team can get three points against the Kalinga Warriors in Saturday’s encounter.

“Odisha FC are a good team with good players and a good coach. Our target is to go to Odisha to win the match; that’s our idea. But with all respect to the opponent, because they have been having a good season,” Habas said in the pre-match press conference.

Though Mohun Bagan SG conceded two goals against NorthEast United FC, they managed to score four in reply to seal victory against the Highlanders. 

“I don’t have any problems because we conceded two goals and scored four in the last match. The problem would arise if the opponent scored two and my team scored zero. This is football,” he commented.

“Odisha FC have important players, and we know how strong they are. We have to be competitive and then have the possibility of winning,” he added.

The 66-year-old has his eyes fixed on clinching the ISL League Shield for the first time in their club's history and will not settle for anything lesser.

“In all competitions, the idea is to be first. I don’t understand how we can compete for second, third, or fourth. I spoke to my players in recent training sessions, and I never told them, ‘Boys, I want to finish third’. That’s impossible,” Habas commented.

“Players have to get the mentality to be first. That is the direction to head. It’s possible to get there, and we have to fight every day for this target,” he signed off.

We’ll try to win the match: Manvir Singh


Forward Manvir Singh accompanied Habas in the press conference ahead of their next away fixture against in-form Odisha FC. Reiterating Habas’s comments, Singh also has his eyes set on securing a win against the Kalinga Warriors to reach the table summit.

“We’ll try to win the match. If we win the match, we’ll go to the top of the table. It’s very important,” he stated.

Singh has two goals and three assists to his name and has also created 17 goalscoring chances for the Mariners thus far in the 2023–24 season. He wants to contribute more to his team’s performance by increasing his goal involvement. Speaking in context, he shared, “I want to create chances for my teammates and myself and to score goals to help my team.”