ATK Mohun Bagan led by Antonio Habas seems to have picked up right from where they left off; probably even better now that they have Liston, Kauko and Boumous in their attacking arsenal. Bagan have scored seven goals in two games already, including three in the first half in the derby against SC East Bengal. Habas looked poised to win the championship last year, but Mumbai City led by Lobera came along and snatched both trophies right from under their noses. The Green and Maroon Brigade will take on Mumbai City FC tomorrow, possibly looking to avenge their previous defeat.
In his opening remarks at the pre-match press conference, Habas referred to the late Chuni Goswami as the person he dedicates the derby victory to. Below is the full transcript.
Confidence in the dressing room after two comprehensive victories
“It is very important to win every day because that is what improves the confidence in the players. Positivity in the dressing room comes with victories. It is very important for the team to go and fight for the three points every day.”
Thoughts on the upcoming game against Mumbai
“The game this season will be completely different from last year’s so I don’t see anything like revenge. There is a new coach and they also have many new players. The basic idea is the same against every team. We know the opponent, Mumbai is a very good team.”
Areas to improve in the team
“There is a possibility to improve in every match that we play. The players cannot lose the level that they are operating at. We need to be more offensive while compensating for that with our defense. It is very important to have a balance between defense and attack.”
Manvir and Liston playing as full-backs
“There are two good players for the same position in Soosairaj and Prabir. The positions are very important and we are lucky to have so many good players. I think Manvir and Liston have a very good level in Indian football. There is a possibility for them to grow with every match that they play. They are two very good players in Indian Football.”
Role of Kotal and Bose
“Their roles are quite similar. They can play full-back when we play a four-man defense or also as wingbacks when there is a three-man defensive line. The players who can play in different positions are very important to us. They can cover for different positions.”
Implementing other formations
“We have the possibility to play with different formations and different players. We changed the system after seven or eight matches into the tournament last season. We need to assess the situation and changes will depend upon the players and the results.”
Update on Tiri
“Tiri is coming. Maybe one week more and then we have the possibility of seeing him in the first eleven or the squad.”
Possibility of Soosairaj starting in the next game
“Soosairaj will be one of the twenty players available for the next match. Every player has the same possibility of playing in the game.”
Refereeing so far
“Till now I feel that there have been more competitive referees and we have to respect them and support them because they have a difficult job.”
On missed chances against Blasters and East Bengal
“It is obviously not possible to win matches with seven or eight goals every day. The greatest clubs in the world also scores two or three goals maximum and one day maybe five. You have to find the right balance between attack and defense. We need to win the match, get three points, and then think about other possibilities.”
ATK Mohun Bagan next faces defending champions Mumbai City FC on 1st December in the Fatorda Stadium.
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