ISL: Pune stands in the way of Materazzi’s men

Marco Materazzi, aware of the task at hand against a side moulded by combative Antonio Habas, expects his squad to stick to plan against F.C. Pune City.

The collective effort seen on the pitch is in sync with the intensity demanded from them by head coach Marco Materazzi.   -  R. Ragu

Chennaiyin FC appear to have come out of the shadows of self-doubt. As the defending champion in Hero ISL 2016, the collective effort seen on the pitch is in sync with the intensity demanded from them by head coach Marco Materazzi. “It was not my team. Now the boys are back on track and hope to carry on the same way.”

After a hard-earned away win against in-form North East United F.C. , F.C. Pune City stands in the way of Materazzi’s men. The hard-nosed Italian, aware of the task at hand against a side moulded by combative Antonio Habas, expects his squad to stick to plan at Balewadi sports complex. “We need to be calm against a very good team.”

CFC head coach elaborated: “Pune City is the favourite, due to the players they have. Each time I tried to sign a player, I found out that Pune got him.”

Materazzi was replying to a query about quality in the rival camp. Edel Bete in goal, Mohammed Sissoko managing the midfield, Jonatan Luca, Jesus Tato in the forwardline.

The familiar face of Habas in the dugout, returning to ISL season three after serving a four-match suspension, lends an edge to the contest. CFC head coach chose to talk about the Spaniard’s record.

“Habas knows to inspire his players and results in two seasons of ISL is known. He won the title once and took his team to the play-offs the next season.”

Pune assistant coach Miguel managed the show in the four games when boss was in the stands, seething in frustration. “It is impossible to coach from far. I am not happy with the results, but I trust my players.”

Sissoko is the impact player the home team was searching for, with his tackling, passing and work-rate.

Habas focused on the squad over the individual. “Sissoko is not the only player out there on the pitch. The team has other players, each one is given a role to play,” explained the Spaniard, echoing Materazzi’s ideas on expectations from the team.

Pune custodian Bete is the common link between two demanding bosses, part of ATK under the Spaniard in ISL 2014, switched to CFC in 2015.

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