We must find stability and balance: ATK Mohun Bagan’s Antonio Habas ahead of Bengaluru FC clash

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Habas pulled no punches as he laid emphasis on team stability and balance ahead of the the coming games, as his side takes on Bengaluru FC in match 31 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season on Thursday at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

Habas’ side have lost their rhythm as they have collected just one point in their last three games and will look to take home the three points against Bengaluru FC to get back in the race for the semi-final spots.

Ahead of his team’s clash against Bengaluru FC, Habas spoke to the media during a pre-match press conference.

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

In the last five matches, Bengaluru FC have not won a single game. Do you think it’s a good thing for your team as you’re facing Bengaluru FC in such a situation?

No. Every match massively matters in this edition of the Hero ISL. All matches are at level for 30-40 minutes and after that, one goal, two goals, three goals more, this shouldn’t happen. We have to find stability; we have to find balance. In my opinion, I don’t see this big difference, this is my job of winning and losing, and this is my war in the game.

Do you think the dip in Chhetri’s form has led to Bengaluru struggling in the ISL?

You know my idea of football. Bengaluru is not a team absolutely dependent on Chhetri. Football is a quality and a team sport, and I don’t think that because of one player, say the likes of Krishna or Chhetri, the team game should get affected.

What do you think are the strong areas of Bengaluru FC?

Bengaluru have to resolve themselves. On the basis of this season, they have a good team, they have possibilities but their shots, all go on the wall. Ultimately, the players on the pitch have to find a solution to overcome their flaws.

This is your third season being a head coach to Roy Krishna. What do you think he brings to the team apart from goals?

I have the same opinion of him as it was in the past, he’s an especially important player and among the best players in the ISL. Sometimes, the strikers [referring to Krishna] have an off day and lack in scoring goals at times, but I’ve had the same confidence in Krishna from the first day.

ATK Mohun Bagan have conceded goals quite easily this season. What is your plan to stop conceding goals?

The plan to not concede goals can only be implemented when you have a good defense which defends all the time and not just with the ball, but sometimes we might lose the ball immediately and we have to recover quickly in those situations. If we have the ball in the same possibility as the opponent, maybe the opponent has no option to score.

ATK Mohun Bagan have dropped eight points out of a total nine in their last three matches. Do you think it’s still possible to end the season at the top of the table?

There are many points in the games left. We had too much on our way, but we have the possibility of winning games by recovering the situation. I remember Chennai in the 2019-20 season where they lost seven matches and after that won the decisive games and played the final against us.

You have to continue to improve, recover, and improve, but it’s not a catastrophic situation when you lose two matches. Football is not like this, it is an extensive career where one time, you lose three matches and in the next three, you win those matches. So, it’s one thing for another thing.

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