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ISL- Indian Super League

Antonio Habas steps down as ATK Mohun Bagan head coach

Published at :December 18, 2021 at 7:29 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Joseph Biswas

The Spaniard leaves as the most successful coach in ISL history with two titles to his name.

Antonio Habas has stepped down from his position as the head coach of ATK Mohun Bagan following a four-match winless run, two of which were defeats. The Spaniard put in his papers last night, which were accepted in the morning. Assistant coach Manuel Cascallana will take charge as the interim head for the club's next match against NorthEast United on December 21.

The club are currently in touch with two coaches with prior ISL experience and also another, who is currently the head coach of an ISL team to take over the side. "ATK Mohun Bagan are already in talks with three coaches to replace the Spaniard. Two among those coaches have previously managed in the Indian Super League, while the third is currently the head coach of an ISL team this season," informed source close to the development to Khel Now.

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Habas, who guided ATK Mohun Bagan to the ISL playoffs final last season and also took them to the knockouts stages of the AFC Cup 2021, said his team "lacked identity" following the 3-3 draw against Bengaluru FC, which saw ATKMB give away a lead twice. After starting the season brightly with consecutive wins, ATK Mohun Bagan's season took a sudden disruptive turn. The Mariners were thrashed 5-1 by defending champions Mumbai City and followed it with a 2-1 defeat to Jamshedpur FC. In both games, Antonio Habas' side were completely outplayed.

They showed signs of a recovery in the 1-1 draw against Chennaiyin FC, but were still second-best that night, before being held to a draw by Bengaluru, who are 10th in the standings.

Antonio Habas' tenure as ATK Mohun Bagan head coach

Habas guided the Mariners to a second-place finish in their debut season in the ISL, following the merger with ATK. He also took them to the playoffs final and to the knockouts stages of AFC Cup 2021. In numbers, Habas coached ATK Mohun Bagan in 33 matches and won 17 of them, including two this season. He also faced eight defeats and seven draws. In the ISL alone, Habas took charge in 29 games, won 15 and draw and lost seven each.


Habas' Record in the ISL

The 64-year-old leaves as the most decorated coach in the ISL's short history, with two titles to this name. Both of them came with the ATK franchise. He won the inaugural ISL season in 2014 with Atletico de Kolkata, known by that name by virtue of their tie-up with Atletico Madrid. Habas also guided the side to the playoffs in the following season.

He returned to the franchise in 2019 — now known as ATK — and won the title for a second time. Following ATK's merger with then I-League champions Mohun Bagan and the subsequent new team ATK Mohun Bagan, Habas remained as coach. In the club's debut season, he guided the team to a second-place finish in the league. He also took them to the playoffs final. In both instances, ATKMB conceded the title to Mumbai City, who handed them their first defeat this season.

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