The Spaniard is currently in his second stint with the club.

Ahead of the kick-off of ISL 2019-20 season, ATK head coach Antonio Lopez Habas interacted with the media. The Spaniard was accompanied by Head of Youth Development, Sanjoy Sen and players David Williams, Pritam Kotal and Pronay Halder.

Habas, who guided ATK to the title in the inaugural Indian Super League season was made to compare between his current team and the team he guided to the crown.

“It is impossible in football to compare two teams. My team then was best and the current side is also best and it will always be the best,” Habas began.

“We will announce the captain of the team soon. Maybe today or tomorrow. We have players in the national team. They are returning, so I will take a decision soon,” the tactician added.

“My last time is now the past and I don’t want to visit the past again. I have a very special connection with the city because I have huge respect for the fans and the club,” added the 62-year-old ahead of his second stint with ATK.

The ATK head coach feels powerless to take any decision on leaving his players for the November national team camp.

“I don’t think I have that in my hand. it is the federation and the higher officials’ decision. I cannot do anything,” he quipped.

Opinion On Other Teams

“We have to respect each and every opposition. It is difficult to have a opinion about the teams before the start of the tournament,” Habas opined about the capabilities of other ISL sides.

Considering the current Spanish dominance in Indian football, ATK were the first side to bring a Spanish contingent and achieved success in the inaugural Indian Super League season.

When asked whether the Kolkata-based outfit influenced other Indian clubs to trust in the Spanish contingent, Sanjoy Sen said, “We selected the players according to the coach’s plans. But if we can influence a thing for other teams then it is good. But, they also try to get the best players according to their coach’s demand.”

Opinion on Indian Football Roadmap

In the recent release of Indian football roadmap, the Indian Super League was announced as the top tier of the domestic game and the league leaders will get an AFC Champions League playoffs spot. Habas feels it will be an added motivation for the players to do well.

“It is good for ISL. It is a added motivation for the team to get international representation,” the Spaniard asserted before his assistant, Sanjoy Sen added, “It is a great motivation for the players to do well. They will get a chance to run their shoulders against the best players in Asia.”

Habas concluded by putting emphasis on a balanced style of play for the forthcoming season.

“The process is to solidify your defence and then go for attack in transitions. The main magic word in football is balance.”

Australian attacking midfielder Dario Vidosic is out injured and has not been registered with the Indian Super League ahead of the upcoming season.