The Mariners’ head coach stressed on the team’s need to find the right balance between attack and defence.

ATK Mohun Bagan aim to get back to winning ways in the Indian Super League (ISL) when they face a struggling Chennaiyin FC side on Thursday. Antonio Habas and his boys have dropped points in their last two games and need a win to rejuvenate their chase for the top spot before the end of the league phase.

Habas, however, is still not that worried about his team’s form and when asked about whether his side are under added pressure, he said, “No pressure for us. Because in the championship, you have good moments and not so good moments. Recently, we played against FC Goa and Mumbai City, two teams who are big favourites to win the league. We have to continue our good work, we are at the top of the table. We have more possibility to attack and that’s our goal for improving. For now, we want to prepare for the next match ahead.”

Lack of goals

The Spaniard is worried about the lack of goals, but more pleased about his side’s defensive record, as he talked about the reason behind his side’s goalscoring woes and said, “The reason is the balance. Defensively, we’re more balanced. We need to find the balance between attack and defence. For me, it’s not good if we score 13 goals and concede 25. That’s no good for me. I think after the Mumbai game we had the least goals conceded in the league. For now, I’m only worried about the possibility to attack more. This is our aim.”

Roy Krishna

Despite him not being in top form, Habas remains confident of Roy Krishna’s ability and spoke about him, saying, “Don’t worry because this situation happens a lot. I have a lot of confidence in Roy. I know he is a fantastic player. Maybe in the last match, he could’ve scored 2-3 goals. This is football, not magic.”

Chennaiyin FC

However, the tactician is not taking Chennaiyin FC’s threat lightly and when asked about whether that is an ‘easy game’ for his side, he said, “I think this season, due to COVID-19’s impact, the competition between the teams is more balanced.

“Anything is possible, be it winning, drawing or losing games. You can lose or draw the games because of minimum mistakes these days. You have to control the small details, the small details is very important,” he added.

Passing Accuracy

ATK Mohun Bagan had a horrible 51.6% passing accuracy against FC Goa, their worst against any opponent in the ISL. When asked about his thoughts on his side’s passing issues, Habas said, “We need to improve how we manage the first pass. But, we are second in the league. Everything shouldn’t be taken in a negative sense. I don’t understand why everything around us is so negative. Our aim is to be the best, to be first, but the opponents are playing well also.”

Playoffs Chances

Despite being in a comfortable position to think about it, Habas refuses to talk much about ATKMB’s playoffs qualification hopes, as he said, “We have to continue our war. That mean’s getting three points or one point from every game. That is our idea. After that, we’ll think about the playoffs. For now, we have the second position and we need to continue to play, no more pressure should be dealt on the players.”

Antonio Habas also spoke about Chennaiyin FC, praising their squad strength, saying, “Chennaiyin are a good team. They have a strong squad also. It’ll be necessary to have a balanced team. It’s very possible that they can win the game due to the small details.”

Finally, the Spaniard was asked about the lack of delivery to Krishna in the attacking third and said, “For me, that’s not good. But we have him playing with ((David) Williams, Manvir (Singh) and Edu (Garcia). We don’t have any more strikers. Maybe, I can play with him! Or maybe my assistant coach (Manuel Cascallana) can! I don’t understand the problem.”

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