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We needed to be a bit more consistent to qualify-Habas

The former ATK manager also said there has been development in Indian football in the three years of the ISL...

FC Pune City end their Indian Super League 2016 campaign against Atlético de Kolkata at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata on Friday evening. The Stallions are out of semis contention and will be looking to end the season on a high after managing 15 points from 13 games. Pune beat Kolkata 2-1 at Balewadi last month and will be looking to salvage some pride on Friday by doing the double over the 2014 champions, who’ve already booked their berth in the semis.

The Spaniard believes a lack of continuity in the Stallions’ ranks along with injuries played a huge role in his side’s failure to qualify for the semi-finals. “If you see Pune’s team we lost two important players, one is Andre Bikey and the other is Eidur Gudjohnsen. So, we needed to make changes and adapt a new style of play and get a new marquee player. For example, 80% of their [Kolkata’s] foreign players are the same [as last year], so there is an understanding [between them]. FC Pune City also want the same. As the team was new, we wanted to be more consistent. We beat the three top teams like Mumbai, Delhi and ATK and we just needed to be more consistent,” Habas told reporters at the pre-match press conference.

Friday’s encounter will see Habas returning to Kolkata for the first time since joining Pune at the start of the season after a two-year spell with ATK and he admitted that he will always look back with fond memories when it comes to the players and fans of his former side. “I want to thank the ATK fans for their support for the last two years and I am grateful as I am part of ATK’s history as their first coach and I am very proud of my association with ATK and the ATK fans always support their team, which is great,” he said.

When asked about the progress seen in the standards of Indian players over the past three years Habas said, “Yes, there has been development in Indian football in these three years and it has made the Indian players more competitive but we need to grow and the league needs to become longer. I don’t want to take any names but there have been many Indian players who have shown tremendous development.”

Report by Khel Now Correspondent Kushankur Rony Rakshit. Sports passionate and content writer. He is big football and cricket fan.


Published: Fri Dec 02, 2016 01:23 PM IST

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