The win also helped ATK Mohun Bagan reclaim top spot in the ISL standings.

ATK Mohun Bagan stormed to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table with a gritty 1-0 win over Jamshedpur FC on Sunday. A late goal from top scorer Roy Krishna gave Antonio Habas and his men all the points, as they piled the pressure on Mumbai City.

Thoughts on result

Habas praised the spirit of his team to pull off another late win after the game, saying, “For us, it’s a continuous war every day. We take it match-by-match, this is our idea. We plan our game depending on the circumstances during the game. Now, we have to look to win the remaining games, so that Mumbai doesn’t have the possibility to win the league. That’s the story now.”

The tactician is aware of how close the margins were in terms of either team having the possibility to win the game, but was pleased that his team were on the winning end. He said, “Yes, maybe in the first half, we didn’t have a lot of possibilities to attack because of their long-ball style. The ball was in the air all the time and that wasn’t very good for us, to play against a team like this.

“In the second half, we adjusted better in terms of possession and did well for the move for the goal. We tried to play better and ended up winning at the end.”

Credit players for current position

Now, that the Mariners are two points clear at the top of the table, Habas was asked about his feelings on this and said, “Yes, it’s very satisfying for us to be here. The credit goes to all the players and the staff.

“I’m very happy with the performance of the players and staff and all our success is because of them. After that, we need to take it one game at a time. Now, the target to qualify for the playoffs is accomplished, so early for a rare time in the ISL. We have to continue these performances and try getting three points every game,” he further added.

Despite getting the win, Habas was clearly unimpressed with Jameshedpur’s tactics of relying on long-balls all the time to frustrate his side. He explained, “For me, they didn’t make the game any easier with their long-balls. We tried to press hard and then they just played long-balls. It’s very difficult to press in the side of the opponent in that case.”

Thoughts on Kolkata Derby

The Spaniard is well aware of the challenge of the Kolkata Derby against SC East Bengal next season, but remained coy with his answer on that game. He said, “We have to keep calm right now. We are in a privileged position. We don’t have any problems with that. For us, it’s like any other match right now. There are no fans, no pressure and no attention. The idea is to play football.”

ATKMB’s Philosophy

The ATKMB coach also insisted that he likes to maintain a balance in his side’s game and doesn’t have any specific tactics to win games late on. He said, “My idea is not to concede goals during the match. If they doesn’t score goals, maybe we can win the match late on, but not with any defensive formation. We are focused on both attacking and defensively.

“Today’s game was complicated because the ball was always in the air, it wasn’t possible to press or recover the ball well. But, I’m very pleased with the performance of the team and all players. For now, our target is to get the No.1 position at the end of the season,” he added.

Finally, the the Spaniard was posed with an interesting question about who is more important to him – Krishna or Arindam Bhattacharya. He diplomatically answered, “Both. That’s like asking about picking the most important from a number of children. They’re both of the same importance for me.”

Roy Krishna’s comments

Man of the Match Roy Krishna was also pleased to win another game for ATK Mohun Bagan and reacting to his goal, he said, “It was a great ball from (David) Williams for my goal. I just had to be at the right place at the right time to score it. But, credit goes to the defence as well for keeping another clean-sheet.”

He also spoke about the importance of winning this game and the Kolkata Derby next week, saying, “We knew that we were just one point behind Mumbai City and that gave us the comfort to get on top. We can’t get carried away. We’ve got to rest now and have another big game next week. The derby will be a tough game. They’re a good side, playing good football. We just have to focus on ourselves. We have to recover now and it’ll be a big game next week.”

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