Pune are desperate for a home win having failed to do so in 5 attempts so far…
FC Pune City head coach Antonio Habas again once again greeted the press as his team prepare for their encounter against Atletico de Kolkata.
The Stallions are presently at the bottom of the league with six points from seven matches, and the head coach has assured that his players won’t go down without a fight against the team from West Bengal.
The former Atletico de Kolkata man was predictably questioned about his personal connection with the opposition. He said, “I’m Pune now. I prepare my team to play against my opponents. It’s as simple as that. I know some players know me and I know them but they have a different coach and a different system now. I am only focusing on Pune and I am sure they are doing the same with their team.”
Habas has yet to have a positive impact on the Pune team, something that he is aware of. “We know that we are not playing well. But this is not the same season as two years ago. Some decisions, some mistakes and some individuals… it resulted in us having about 3-4 points less than we had envisaged,” he said.
The Spaniard though has already mentioned that despite the fast-paced nature of the league, he will need time to change the fortunes of the Punekars. Reiterating that he added, “We need time to make the team play according to my system. That’s a long process and that is why we don’t have as many points. But we are working on a daily basis on just this and it doesn’t matter that we are at the bottom of the table, we will still fight. Let’s see tomorrow. This is a short league. We have no time to adjust but we have been working very hard. Sometimes, the team has played well as per my system, sometimes not.
“Only four teams play the semis. Pune have never played the semis. Our objective is to play the semis. That’s what we want. In the first year, our target at ATK was to qualify for the semis. We did that and we went on to win. Next year, we had the objective to qualify, we did that. This year, we wanted to bring our team and try and get to the semis. That’s what we are doing.”
However, when asked if he thought Pune were still in contention for the playoffs Habas didn’t look too certain. “Now, no. Right now, we are bottom of the table. Maybe after tomorrow, I can tell you. Our target is to qualify for the semis and till the last minute, we will fight to get that. Finally, if we can’t, we will fight to the last match. You win one game and you move up, so let’s see after tomorrow.”
Photo © ISL Media
Report by Khel Now- correspondent Miqdad. Miqdad is a Liberal Arts student from Pune. A Liverpool fan he’s probably busy watching a sport or writing. You can follow him on Twitter.