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Not good that coaches talk bad about referees all time, says Antonio Habas

Published at :February 10, 2024 at 11:50 AM
Modified at :February 10, 2024 at 11:50 AM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Uttiyo Sarkar


Although Hyderabad FC are in a turbulent situation, Mohun Bagan boss Antonio Habas is not taking them lightly.

Mohun Bagan will hope to end a four-match winless run in the Indian Super League (ISL) when they host Hyderabad FC at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Saturday (February 10). The Mariners are still searching for their first win under new head coach Antonio Habas and are in desperate need of regaining a winning momentum to keep their ISL title dreams alive.

Habas not underestimating struggling Hyderabad FC

Despite facing a Hyderabad FC side that hasn’t won an ISL game this season, Habas is not taking this game for granted as he said: “We know they’re not in a good situation, but they are in the competition and we need to play them now. They are giving opportunities to youngsters and it’s difficult to win against just youngsters. We are confident to compete for winning the game, but we absolutely respect the opponent for tomorrow’s game.”

How will Mohun Bagan cope without key players?

Mohun Bagan will miss defenders Brendan Hamill and Anwar Ali due to injuries for the game, while Deepak Tangri and Armando Sadiku are suspended. When asked about the plans to cope without these players, the Spaniard said: “For us, we can’t have any excuses. We need to do with the players we have. We have to play the best personnel possible for the game and my players are preparing for that. We have a good squad and I can use one player if another player is injured. No excuses.”

“We have to analyze how to set up the defence without the injured players. I have a good squad, I have to analyze and come up with a formation that can fit for the match. We have a solution for that. I don’t like talking about players who can’t play,” he added.

ISL refereeing standards and winless streak

After East Bengal head coach Carles Cuadrat went on a rant on the refereeing in the Kolkata derby, Antonio Habas was asked about his thoughts on the refereeing situation in the ISL. He stated: “I’m very happy with the refereeing. Maybe after the Hyderabad match it’ll be different, but I’m very happy right  now. They are professionals too. It’s not good that coaches talk bad about the referees all the time. It depends on the performance against Hyderabad but for now I can say positive things about the refereeing.”

With the Mariners coming into this game on the back of a four-match winless streak, the Spaniard was questioned on what is the reason behind the rut. He explained: “There are many reasons for that. The past for me, although, is no good. I’m thinking about here and now, about the match and not the past ones. The players have to be actualizing every day and compete after that. We can’t remember about the bad things about the past, we have to think positively going forward and we need to improve our performances in the game against Hyderabad.”

Could Mohun Bagan change formation against Hyderabad?

When asked if he might decide to change his formation due to the unavailabilites against Hyderabad, Habas revealed: “We have important players out tomorrow because of suspensions or injuires. But there are no excuses. Maybe there will be a few changes in the next game in the lineup or to the system, but the idea has to be the same. The philosophy, the style and the model of play has to be the same. It depends on a player when you can play one formation or different formations. But for us, we have to keep the same philosophy and if we have to change the formation, then we will change it!”

Pressure to get a win for the Mariners

Finally, Antonio Habas spoke about the pressure on Mohun Bagan to get a win against the Nizams before their trip to Goa. He said: “Personally, in football, there is pressure all the time. It’s necessary for us to win the next three points, but I don’t want to say bad things and I want to be professional.

“The idea is to win three points while respecting the opponents. Hyderabad have had difficult times I know, but they are good professionals in this situation. I was in this situation in my time managing in Spain, and it’s very difficult. In such a case, the only solution is to work and demonstrate the possibility to keep playing in the ISL,” he finished with.

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