The Spaniard has also reiterated that his team will adapt a pragmatic approach depending on the opposition.

ATK return to the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday, where they will face a high-flying Jamshedpur FC side, who look early favourites to secure a playoffs position for the very first time in the Indian Super League. ATK head coach Antonio Habas addressed the media ahead of the big clash.

In what is expected to be a competitive game between two sides with a lot of momentum behind them, Antonio Habas is a focused man looking to continue his teeam’s good form in the early season.

But, when it comes to taking on Jamshedpur FC, Antonio Habas remained coy knowing their quality. Speaking about their threat, he said, “We have to respect every team now. We must give maximum respect to the technical staff and the players. I think Jamshedpur are a good side and have a good coach also.”

Refereeing Standards

The refereeing in ATK’s games this season has been especially shocking, but Antonio Habas isn’t going to use that as an excuse for anything. He explained, “We have to be professional and have to respect the officials, if we want them to respect us. I don’t want to talk about their performances, as I don’t want any excuses in my football. I don’t believe in excuses in football.”

About Jobby Justin

The 62-year-old spoke at large about striker Jobby Justin, who will be available from tomorrow’s game after serving a 10-month suspension. Habas spoke about his plans for Jobby and said, “We have a day to think about the match. We have a Plan A and a Plan B. Jobby is a very important team player for us. I don’t want to say anything about this, because only I give them the first XI in the morning of the game.”

“In my time in Spain, I had a player who always said that motivation is possibly the biggest step in improving a player. Jobby has a hunger to win a position for playing in the team. Now, we have to wait for the moment when he plays,” he added.

On Pragmatic Approach

Habas is remaining pragmatic when it comes to explaining ATK’s stance on going defensive after taking leads, especially shown against Chennaiyin FC. He explained, “Football is about attacking and defending. Maybe it wasn’t the best match for ATK, but we won the match. Sometimes, it’s less important to play well and win the match. The team is training every day and getting better. So, hopefully we’ll improve from that.”

Jobby Justin also reiterated how important it is to break into the first XI going into tomorrow’s game. He said, “For me, it was a good season last time. So, this season, I need to be in the first XI first and foremost and work hard to achieve that. Tomorrow, it’s an important match for us against Jamshedpur and it’s important for us to win the game.”

Habas also stated that his side must improve their set-piece quality in order to hurt teams from free-kicks and corners. He explained, “We have to improve our set-pieces and this is our idea to do. It’s very important in set-pieces, what the players choose to do. The movement is important and the decision-making, the free-kick quality are all important. We are working on improving that aspect of our game.”

Moreover, when asked about any potential consistency issues for ATK, Habas urged his side to retain peak performance-levels throughout the season and feed off the support from their fans. He exclaimed, “We need to be prepared to give the same level of performances every day.  I don’t need to rely about the future. We need to think about the fans. It’s important for the players to be connected with the fans from the first minute of the match to the very last, in order to perform to their very best.”