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ISL 2020-21: Antonio Habas wants ATK Mohun Bagan to improve set-piece defending



Antonio Habas has urged his players for better collaboration to get more goal-scorers…

The defensive organisation has been hailed as one of the many strengths of ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Habas’ teams. And it had been the case in this season of the Indian Super League (ISL) as well, with ATKMB conceding no goals until their previous encounter against Jamshedpur FC.

A clinical Nerijus Valskis managed to unlock them not once but twice, both from set-pieces, and that has raised a few doubts before the game against Hyderabad FC on Friday evening. However, the Spanish coach is confident his players would respond well to the situation and rectify the errors. 

“We can do fantastic work around set-pieces. Last season, we just conceded one goal from set-pieces in all matches. Now in one match, we have conceded two. I hope we improve. The opponents had good players for this situation. I have full confidence in my players and I hope this kind of situation will not be repeated. 

“We have a good squad. Maybe we have some injury problems. We don’t have (Michael) Soosairaj, Jobby (Justin) who are injured. I have good confidence in my team. We are thinking about players who are here and not about Soosai. We have to respect the players. We have a good squad and we need to use the right players at the right moment,” stated the tactician. 

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Games are coming thick and fast for ATK Mohun Bagan and Habas did not hide his displeasure over the busy schedule which is not allowing players enough recovery time. 

“We don’t have any solution for that. It is not good for the team to play every three-four days. The humidity, the travel time for one hour 30 minutes, everything influences the final score.”

Roy Krishna has been their main source of goals so far, scoring four of their five goals. Edu Garcia and Brad Inman are yet to get off the mark while David Williams has not featured much. But the coach is not concerned about the situation as he feels that with time, things will change. 

“All players have to collaborate together. The idea now is to score goals by more players by collaborating better. Only Krishna and Manvir (Singh) have scored so far. But we are not concerned about the situation.”

Habas informed that David Williams and Javi Hernandez both could feature in the match against the Nizams. 

The Nizams remain undefeated in this edition of ISL  whereas his team is coming at the back of a loss. Yet the two-time ISL winner is confident that his team can turn the tables around and also commented on the style of Hyderabad FC. 

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“Football is different every day. Statistics are not always definitive. I don’t think Hyderabad plays long balls systematically. They try to play more with the ball,” signed off Habas. 

 



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