Free Press Journal

Winning every game is important for me: ATK coach


Antonio Lopez Habas

Chennai: Defending champion Atletico de Kolkata’s head coach Antonio Lopez Habas exuded confidence of starting the second ISL season on a bright note a d said his team will look to win every game and gain three points. Talking to media ahead of their opening match against Chennaiyin FC, Habas said: “I do not want to talk about how difficult it is to rebuild the team. We are the defending champions. Winning every game is important for me and gaining three points from each match. This is very vital.

“On match day it will not only be the big names which will matter but also the dynamism brought in by young Indian players which will also count. Chennaiyin Manager and Coach, Marco Materrazi said: “We are confident of playing positively for a win and we have the advantage of having retained the core of players of last season and we are much organized this season. We have no injury concerns.”

On Fikru, Materrazi said: “I picked Fikru because he knows the tournament well. He has experience of playing in this league and his never-say-die attitude was the most important thing for me to get him here. I hope he contributes to the team’s success.” On retaining players, he said: “I know my players very well. We are much organised this season compared to the last as we have kept the core of the team together. New players have come in but we did very well to keep most of our last team squad. That surely gives us an advantage.

“The players know me better this time around. They know what I want out of them. We have more quality this time in our squad.” Asked about the blend of foreign and Indian players in the playing eleven, he said: “It’s ISL, so we have to play more Indian players. It won’t be fair to the Indian players that more foreigners play. You just cannot play eleven foreigners when you know it’s an Indian league and it has been started to promote Indian football.”