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I respect Antonio Habas a lot- Jose Molina


The Spaniard was keen to emphasize that he is focussed on winning…

Atlético de Kolkata head coach Jose Molina greeted the press with a fair amount of optimism, as his side will go top of the league on goal difference with a victory on Sunday evening.

ATK, who are fresh from beating NorthEast United FC 2-1 in their last game sit comfortably in the top four as they prepare to face strugglers FC Pune City.

Molina has come in this season to replace the greatly successful Antonio Habas, his opposite manager on Sunday. This fact has dominated the narrative heading into the contest but Molina was insistent that it did not affect him. “To me this is just one match. Some of my players know Antonio and he knows my players. But that’s football, each match is different. I’m not worried about that and I am not thinking about that. My job is to motivate my players to win.

“I am trying to give them confidence to work hard and try to play the way we want. There are a few things we can improve on and I am sure my players will work hard and achieve the victory.”

Continuing to reply to the Habas related questions, Molina stated, “When you go to a new club, you are always replacing someone who has gone. That’s football. Antonio was a successful coach with ATK, he is a great coach and he did a good job. I respect him a lot but now I am here and it is my job to do my best with my team. I’m sure he will do the best for his team, Pune.”

Atletico have accumulated 7 points in 3 from their travels so far, a record better than their home form. Speaking on the topic, Molina said, “To me, a football match is a football match. It doesn’t matter where you are going to play. The home match and the away match are the same. We try to do the same in the same way with the same mindset and do our job. Sometimes maybe, you get more points away. You may not be playing better but you may get the points. To me, every match is the same. All I want to do is to win.”

The Bengal Tigers would practically have a foot in the playoffs tomorrow itself with a win, something that Molina acknowledges but remains wary of. “If we win, it will surely help in our journey to the semi-finals. But we have six more matches to play. The job will not be done even after a win tomorrow. Our objective is to achieve the three points tomorrow and if we do that, obviously, we will be closer towards our goal of qualifying.”

The 46-year-old said his only focus will be to play football, not whether it should be defensive or offensive. “To me, it is not to play offensive or defensive. We are going to play football. When we have the ball, we will be offensive. When we don’t have the ball, we will try to be a very good defensive team…When we enter a pitch, our only focus is on winning. When we have to adapt and play defensively or offensively, we will do that or whatever it takes to win.”

Commenting on the fitness status of this team Molina said, “[Helder] Postiga trained today and is ready for selection tomorrow. Bikash Jairu is injured and Keegan [Pereira] is away with Bengaluru FC.”

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.

Published: Sun Nov 06, 2016 01:50 AM IST


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