The Mariners’ tactician expressed disappointment about not having won against 10-man Hyderabad FC.
ATK Mohun Bagan wasted a perfect opportunity to top the league stages of the Indian Super League (ISL) and qualify for the AFC Champions League after being held to a 2-2 draw by a resilient, 10-man Hyderabad FC on Monday. The Mariners had to hit back after going a goal down on two occasions, with Manvir Singh and Pritam Kotal scoring to snatch a point for Antonio Habas and his side.
Despite ATKMB showing plenty of fighting spirit to get that late point, Habas wasn’t satisfied with his team’s performance and summed it up, saying, “I’m disappointed with the performance of the team because for us it was a match to win the three points and win the league. I was a bit disappointed with the performance of the team.
“We had numerical superiority from the fourth minute and should’ve done better. After that, the team was afraid to win and afraid to lose as well. But, we have to recover as a team and treat the game against Mumbai as a final,” he added.
About Mumbai City
Speaking more about Mumbai City FC, who have to play against Odisha FC before the finale, Habas said, “Yes, it’s going to be difficult for us. But, now, Mumbai also have to play against Odisha. The football in this league is unpredictable and can produce anything.
“But, now we have to recover well. We have a lot of injured players. We can’t think about this match anymore. We’ve had a fantastic season and now we have to show up in the last match, if we need to want the league.”
Unimpressed by game quality
The Spaniard was unimpressed with the general quality of the game and explained why, saying, “There were no good things in general. We had a lot of problems with the situation with injury times with the referee. In the first half, we played for 25 minutes, but in the second half that wasn’t possible because the referee continuously stopping the play for no reason. There was no real pace to the match. No excuses from us, but I think our team didn’t perform at their best.”
Habas was surprised with how Hyderabad let the Mariners take one point in injury-time. He said: “I don’t understand why Hyderabad FC allowed themselves to lose the match in injury-time. The draw is really no good for them. I don’t understand that. I respect their idea, but personally, I don’t understand their feeling.”
Sandesh Jhingan’s injury
ATKMB’s key defender Sandesh Jhingan had to be substituted in the second half after a possible injury and when asked about the update on him, Habas said, “We have to evaluate Jhingan’s situation in the next days and only after that can I evaluate. Right now, I can’t really give any update.”
Finally, Antonio Habas ended up with positive news on some of his other injured stars and waited for the game ahead to win the league. He said, “We can have Marcelinho in the next game and Edu Garcia as well because they should be ready for it.”