Want to play like protagonists and not antagonists: ATK coach Antonio Habas
With just a week to go for their first match of the second Indian Super League (ISL), defending champions Atletico de Kolkata's coach Antonio Habas along with his 26-member squad had a full fledged closed-door practice at Mohun Bagan ground here On Friday.
Kolkata: With just a week to go for their first match of the second Indian Super League (ISL), defending champions Atletico de Kolkata's coach Antonio Habas along with his 26-member squad had a full fledged closed-door practice at Mohun Bagan ground here On Friday.
Believed to be a hard taskmaster, Habas did not give any break to his wards who trained for about two hours here, a day after they returned from a month-long training at the Los Angeles de San Rafael ground in El Espinar, Segovia, Spain.
"For me the main objective is to play well in the first match. I don't want to plan for the entire season, I don't plan long term. The main objective now is to do well in Chennai," the 58-year-old said of the ISL opener.
With Habas, marquee players Helder Postiga and Rino Anto are also set to leave for Mumbai for an ISL promotional. The team will have a day's off tomorrow and return Sunday to play a practice match tentatively against Aryan FC.
In the opening season, ATK had made headlines both for good and bad reasons, and Habas stressed on the importance to play like "protagonists and not antagonists".
"Want to be the protagonist team no antagonist. No more comparison (with the last season)," Habas said.
Their former player Fikru Teferra, Habas and goalkeeping coach Predipkumar Bhaktwer were suspended by the AIFF disciplinary committee.
"I don't want to compare this team with the last season's. We can have the best team in the world but it's important to put together your best and win on the field."
The Ethiopian striker Fikru has now switched allegiance to Chennaiyin FC, against whom ATK open their campaign.
"Fikru was an important player for us and I want to congratulate him for joining his new team. At the same time I don't want to talk about a player who's not with us anymore. I'm worried about my team only and don't know how the other teams will play."
Without Fikru and Luis Garcia up front, ATK now have Canadian forward Iain Hume and Postiga, a Portuguese two-time World Cupper.
"Postiga is a fantastic player. Need his collaboration with the team. I'm not just looking at one player but the entire team," Habas said.