Kibu Vicuna could have coached Mohun Bagan to the I-League title final season however ISL is a special event altogether, ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Lopez Habas warned his Kerala Blasters counterpart on Thursday. Behind closed doorways, each groups will lock horns in Bambolim, Goa on Friday to kick off the seventh ISL.
Vicuna’s first problem will likely be in opposition to his former workforce in a brand new avatar, because of the Mariners’ merger with three-time defending ISL champions ATK. “Kibu Vicuna did good work in Mohun Bagan, but this year it is a different competition and different season. “I’ve the utmost respect for him however on Friday we are going to attempt to get three factors as we work day-after-day for that,” essentially the most profitable ISL coach, Habas stated on the eve of the opener.
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While a lot of the franchisees performed multiple pleasant video games within the lead-up, the ISL-winning coach cancelled their scheduled pre-season match in opposition to FC Goa. “We did not contemplate it essential to play friendlies in pre-season as a result of this can be a totally different and particular pre-season,” Habas stated.
“I believe it’s tougher to play in opposition to your personal teammates than different opponents. The pleasant match this season didn’t have the right circumstances to play. “There would have been no referees and we had to play on the training pitch. Therefore it was better to play among us,” the previous Las Palmas coach stated.
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Habas has retained the core of his ATK squad, whereas making vital additions within the already sturdy defensive line-up, with high-profile acquisitions of Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri. From the I-League-winning Mohun Bagan squad, they’ve retained Sheikh Sahil and Avilas Pal.
But Habas stated they need to keep grounded and try for 3 factors in each match. “I think we can call ourselves favourites in March-April. Right now we have to keep our heads down and work hard in every match to get the three points,” he stated.
In an uncommon transfer, Habas had named 5 captains this season in his 27-member squad. “We have a very good squad. In this situation, it is very important to have a good squad. We need rotation in this season more than any other season. “Roy (Krishna) and (David) Williams are as essential as some other participant within the workforce. I’m very pleased with the brand new additions. They all need to win. They have a superb angle.” ATK Mohun Bagan can even play within the AFC Cup this season and Habas stated his precedence is to do effectively internationally as effectively.
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“I’ve the identical ambition and that’s to construct a aggressive workforce and get success, first in ISL after which in some other worldwide competitions,” he stated. The Habas-coached facet conceded solely 19 targets in 21 matches throughout their triumphant marketing campaign final season and with the addition of Tiri and Jhingan, their defence would be the one to be careful for.
Jhingan will likely be returning to motion after a prolonged harm layoff and Habas stated: “Sandesh (Jhingan) has the identical probability to function within the XI as different gamers. He has not performed for a very long time and different gamers additionally have not performed for round six-seven months. The likelihood is equal.”