Winning every ISL game is important for me: ATK coach
Defending champion Atletico de Kolkata's head coach Antonio Lopez Habas exuded confidence of starting the second ISL season on a bright note and said his team will look to win every game and gain three points.
Chennai: Defending champion Atletico de Kolkata's head coach Antonio Lopez Habas exuded confidence of starting the second ISL season on a bright note and 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."
Habas said: "We have made some sound changes to the last season. I think we have the best team now. I want to see what is in store for us this season and waiting for the competition to commence. After that I can tell about different formats and the status of the ISL League."
On fielding an attacking eleven in the match, the Coach said: "For me it is not important whether the player in the first eleven or the bench is good. With all the confidence that I have in my mind I feel that we have the best players and strong squad for the competitions. Now, we have to get the competitive team and give hundred per cent to win matches."
"It is all about winning games and if we are down we need to equalize the score. I want my players to be disciplined and give entertaining football," he said.
On Indian football players' future, he said: "Indian footballers can do better in next few years. May be some players can go join European teams. As for my assessment of the league, I have played in many leagues including this one.
I think the league is great and I enjoy the tournament."
Meanwhile, the Portugal world cup star and marquee player of ATK, Helder Postiga said: "I come from Portugal. Playing here is a challenge for me. I wanted to try few new things in football and this is the best opportunity for me.
"Pre season training is always important as you have foreign and Indian players in the team and so that they get to know ones strength and gel well and to get to know what is ones style and ideas. In preseason you can make assessments since you do not get much time during the competitions."