Indian Super League

ATK's Antonio Habas - ISL’s AFC slot fantastic for Indian football

11:00 AM WAT 17/10/2019
Antonio Habas NorthEast United FC FC Pune City ISL season 3 2016
The ATK boss is delighted to be back in Kolkata and is ready to bring back the glory days...

Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions ATK will hope to aim for the title with head coach Antonio Lopez Habas back at the helm of affairs this season.

The team had won the title in their maiden season and then finished fourth in the succeeding campaign with the Spanish boss in charge.

In the past two seasons, though, the Kolkata-based team's performances have suffered a drop in quality. Under Habas, ATK will look to consistently perform well again. 

"My target is always to win matches. Our duty is to compete every day and try and win the matches. Everything is okay, we don't have injuries. We are preparing well for the competition. We need to concentrate on the match on October 20," Habas said. 

The Spaniard refused to delve into past seasons at the club and suggested that he would prefer to focus on the current season. He said, “Football is different each season. The players are different and I am happy with the team. For me, my current team is the best.

“I think that my last time here is past and I don't want to think about the past. Kolkata is special to me and I have massive respect for the team and the fans.”

When asked about ISL's favourites this season, the Spaniard said, “I don't know the strongest teams. We have to respect every team as the competition is very high now.”

The league underwent a few changes this season as they have now become the top tier league of the country. Also, the winner of the league stage will be awarded an AFC Champions League (ACL) qualifying slot.

Speaking on the AFC slot, Habas said, “I think it is good for ISL. It gives an added motivation and there is an international repercussion. It is fantastic for the league and Indian football.”

The former Celta Vigo boss is known for his pragmatic style of football. Explaining his style, Habas said, “The process is to organise the defence is first and then go into transition and attack. We have trained for 45 days. The magic word in football is balance. You have to balance things well.”