Habas returns to ATK after a gap of three seasons. He had left in 2015 after being in charge of the club for the first two seasons of the league. He had guided ATK to the championship in the inaugural edition of the ISL and had helped them reach the play-offs in the subsequent season.
After re-joining ATK, the Spanish coach said, “I am very proud to be the Head Coach of ATK. I have always had the feeling that I will be back to train the team. I am sure that with the support of the fans, and us working together, we will get the recognition and the results that the club deserves. Success will be achieved when we aspire to compete hard and add to the professional growth of the club. Many thanks to ATK for showing their confidence in me yet again.”
On re-appointing Habas, ATK's principal owner Sanjeev Goenka expressed his pleasure, saying, "I am glad to welcome back our new Head Coach, Antonio López Habas to the ATK family. I wish him all the best to carry our two-time championship legacy forward. He is an exceptional manager and I am hopeful Habas will lead the way for ATK with his unique strategies and his enthusiasm.”
After parting ways with ATK, Habas had moved to FC Pune City and managed them in the third edition of the league in 2016. Unfortunately, the former Atletico Madrid manager could not help them to reach the play-offs with the Stallions finishing in the sixth position.
Since the departure of the 61-year-old coach, the Kolkata-based ISL side have won the league just once and produced miserable results in the last two seasons. The Sanjeev Goenka-owned side have seen four coaches in the last two seasons which included former Manchester United player Teddy Sheringham, Ashley Westwood, Robbie Keane and Steve Coppell.
ATK will hope that Habas will bring his luck along with him as he prepares to start his second stint with the club.