ATK coach Antonio Habas: Balance is the magic word in football

Antonio Habas sticks to the mantra of having a right balance as he returns to lead ATK, which aims to become the first club to win three ISL titles.

Antonio Habas during a media interaction in Kolkata.   -  PTI

Antonio Habas sticks to the mantra of having a right balance as he returns to lead ATK in the Indian Super League (ISL) in a new season.

Interacting with reporters here on Thursday, Habas said he would continue to strike a good balance. “The process is to organise the defence first and then go into transition and attack. We have trained for 45 days. The magic word in football is the balance. You have to balance things well,” Habas said.

As two-time champion ATK is ready to start its campaign in the sixth season with an away match against Kerala Blasters on October 20, Habas said he would not rest on past laurels.

“My last time here is past and I don't want to think about the past. Kolkata is special to me and I have massive respect for the team and the fans."

“We don't have injuries. We are preparing well for the competition. We need to concentrate on the match on October 20. Our duty is to compete every day and try and win the matches. The players are different and I am happy with the team. For me my current team is the best.”

Habas said he would name the captain soon. “Maybe tomorrow I will communicate the name. Three players just came back from the national team. I will take some time before announcing.”

Asked about ISL getting the status of the country’s top league, which enables its champion to compete in the AFC Champions League, the Spaniard said, “It is good for ISL. It gives added motivation and international reputation. It is fantastic for the league and Indian football.”

Australian striker David Williams, who is set to form a partnership with fellow Wellington Phoenix star Roy Krishna, said the focus would be to help ATK scale new heights. “We want to be the first club in ISL to win three championships. I will give everything I can and share my experience with the local players.”

Local players Pritam Kotal and Pranoy Halder looked forward to the challenge too. “There is no pressure. I love playing here. I'll give my best and try to make my club champion,” said Kotal.

“I was injured (hamstring). These matches are important as (the national) coach might select me again on the basis of my performance. I love playing in front of the crowd,” said Halder.

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