ATK Mohun Bagan FC saw a 2-1 defeat in their last match against Jamshedpur FC. After playing four matches this season, the Mariners have won two matches, while losing the other two. The team faces Chennaiyin FC in their next game. The Marina Machans played out a 0-0 draw against SC East Bengal in their last game. They are still unbeaten in the league having won two matches and before the draw, in the three games, they have played so far this season.
In his pre-match press conference, Antonio Lopez Habas addressed the media before ATK Mohun Bagan FC’s game against Chennaiyin FC. Below is the full transcript.
You have attackers like Roy, Hugo, and Joni but they are having problems scoring goals. Do you think it’s a psychological issue or a technical issue?
“We always have to talk about the balance, the first two matches we are the best team in the world because we scored seven goals in two matches and now they are not scoring goals so we are a bad team. It’s not like that, the idea is to be balanced in the matches and balanced in our behavior. I don’t want us to be the best club in the world and also the worst club in the world in space of ten days. Because I feel, for proper development of football in India, balance and patience is required.”
You have lost two back-to-back matches, so do you think the team needs to work on solidifying the defense?
“We have to find the balance between different matches and different kinds of the match because we have been playing 45 minutes in the correct way and another 45 minutes in the incorrect way. We have to find the ideal situation and quality service in every situation for competing and becoming the best.”
So what has been your message to the players after losing two back-to-back matches?
“We had to increase the confidence in our players. For me, my players are the best in the league and also the best in the world. I have to give confidence and continue my career in ISL. This is a long career here and very hard competition because for two years we have been continuing the quarantine and staying in the bubble and it’s very difficult for the professional people to stay like this and share every day, the sensation that we have felt. In this competition, we have to compare to demonstrate that we are the best and we have to continue evidently for achieving that.”
After the Derby suddenly the forms of Roy Krishna and Hugo Boumous have dropped. They are not combining properly. Do you think Williams should start in the next match in place of Joni Kauko?
“We have the match now and the next match is again after five days. We have to play many matches in a span of one month so we need all the players to be prepared because maybe one player can play four matches continuously and then they might need rest. Also, we have to play with this team for the complete tournament so we need every player to be ready when they get the opportunity.”
how is the team’s defensive performance in the last two matches?
“Not happy with the performance in defense, but my team is a competitive team all the time. It is in the transition of different attacks there we are facing difficulties while defending. Now we need to have a team for playing in the upcoming matches and not only forty-five minutes, but we also have to make them ready to continue competing for 90 minutes.”
how much confidence do you have to turn around the fortunes after a back-to-back defeat?
“Apparently I am a hundred percent confident in my team even in this situation because the first two matches it was okay, the result and the score, and after the two to three matches we are in this situation. Maybe now the good time is coming, this is my idea I am thinking positive for my team”
what do you think are the strong areas of Chennaiyin FC?
“I feel Chennaiyin FC is a competitive team and they have good foreign players. They have many competitive players and play good physical football. I agree with you, it will be a difficult match because Chennaiyin does not concede many goals and I think that will be a competitive match.”
Although ATK Mohun Bagan have some top players at the wings, we haven’t seen much of wing play this season and the team has not performed satisfactorily at set-pieces either, so what might be the reason?
“This is your opinion, In my opinion, I think for the most part of the match we play well on the flanks and I know that because the opening half player is also in the left-back or right-back you know many key players to help in attack from the wide. Don’t worry, we are conditioned in a good way during the match so do no worry with that situation”
Like SC East Bengal resisted Chennaiyin FC in their last game, do you think your team can win against them?
“Never two matches in football are same. Also, SC East Bengal is one team and we are another team. I feel it was a completely different match against them and also it will be a completely different match tomorrow against us”
The match will take place at Fatorda Stadium, Goa from 7:30 PM IST tonight.
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