Antonio Lopez Habas is once again back at the heartland of football after he left Atletico De Kolkata in 2016. The Spaniard wants to start this season in a positive way and doesn’t want to dislodge from his idea of balanced football.
The Kolkata based ISL franchise ‘ATK’ arranged the first press conference of this season on the auspicious day of Maha Panchami at the Victoria House and was attended by Head coach Antonio Lopez Habas, assistant coach Sanjoy Sen and Fiji international Roy Krishna.
Habas is very familiar to this city and he knows the madness and the craze that the city shares about football. That’s why he wants to be cool and enjoy the football with his team. He also told that for now he only wants to focus on the ISL and not at all interested to think about competitions thereafter. So does he only think about scoring goals? Surely not as he confirmed Talk Sports 24×7 that his principal motive will be win the match not only by scoring goals but also by refraining from conceding any.
He aspires for a balanced team which will share a strong composure both in attack and defence as he said, “Balance is the magic word in football cause conceding lot of goals is not positive. What is important is scoring goals and not conceding any.This is the best for a team”.
He also made clear statements about the positive mood in the team as he said that he never judged any player whether he is foreigner or Indian as he don’t want a protagonist in his team rather wants to work with everyone as a team.
A-League top scorer and Fiji international Roy Krishna has been the one of the chief players this season who caught major media watch. The former Wellington Phoenix striker rejuvenated his Indian roots as he has been in India for a while. While asked about his previous experience of Durga Puja, Krishna told that there are lot of pujas that occur in Fiji but he never had an experience of Durga puja before.
Krishna seemed to be quite happy with the preseason at ATK as he said, “Playing under Habas is very tough. The training is very intense. Everybody is stepping up not only foreign players, the local boys are very good which is good to see.”
He also revealed that in 2006 when Indian team visited Fiji he heard about I-League and has also watched ISL sometimes on TV channels and it seemed tough and aggressive in his view.
Assistant coach Sanjoy Sen was also caught quite hopeful for the upcoming season. Sen does not want to look back to the past two years. Their plan is to look forward and bring the cup back in the city. The I-League winning coach also praised Habas and told that it is a learning experience for him to work with a man like him. Sen was asked whether players face some struggle to manage under a Spaniard after two long years of English style of play? The answer came out with a very apt reply from Sen as made out a point saying, “Players nowadays are quite accustomed to different styles as this shift is happening all over the world and this surely is going to be a learning experience for players.”
ATK this time is trying to make a point on the pitch by promoting players from their reserve squad. When asked about the recent promotion of Anil Chawan, Sanjoy Sen assured Talk Sports 24X7 that not only Chawan but reserve team captain Brandon Green and Indian International Sumit Rathi is also in a situation to grab a promotion in the senior squad as they are trying to gain the perfect shape along with the senior team in practice.
ATK will kick off their ISL campaign on 20th October this year against arch rivals Kerala Blasters in an away match at the Tuskers’ den. Ahead of the maiden clash the two times champions seemed to be in a better and quite good shape as they wish to achieve objectives step by step making a point on pitch as a team.