The Spanish coach remained cautious ahead of facing an ‘improved’ Kerala Blasters side…
After their third defeat of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) season against NorthEas United in their last match, ATK Mohun Bagan will hope to get back to winning ways when they take on Kerala Blasters on Sunday.
The Mariners are currently on the second position in the league table but are six points behind leader Mumbai City. Hence the Kolkata-baed side cannot afford to lose a point against the Yellow Army if they want to remain in the hunt for the AFC Champions League (ACL) spot.
ATK Mohun Bagan’s last outing against the Highlanders was marred by controversial refereeing decisions. Luis Machado had scored the opening goal of the match but while doing so he was guilty of pushing opposition defender Tiri down on the ground which seemed a foul.
Coach Antonio Habas was understandably frustrated with the refereeing but he refused to cite poor refereeing as an excuse before facing Kerala Blasters.
“The referee situation, I don’t understand,” said Habas. “Maybe we don’t have any luck with some referees. In the last match, we conceded the goal even though it was a clear foul. After that one penalty to Roy Krishna not given and one offside. In my opinion, a referee can commit one mistake or two mistakes but cannot commit three mistakes in the same match. We need to support the referees but sometimes I don’t understand their decisions. We have to continue. In my career, I have never thought about refereeing before a game and I will continue the same.”
ATK Mohun Bagan had got the better of Kerala Blasters the last time these to sides met in the season opener. Habas, though remained cautious ahead of facing Kibu Vicuna’s side as he suggested that the South Indian club has improved a lot as the season has progressed.
“Kerala Blasters are a good opponent. I think they had a possibility to win in the last match and we needed a lot of effort, discipline and intelligence to win that tie. They have improved a lot. But we have to think about our game and not think about them.”
Goal scoring has been a major issue for Habas’ men this season. Despite being at the top half of the league, the Kolkata giants have managed to score only 13 goals in as many matches. But the Spanish coach mentioned that he has seen improvement in his team’s performance of late.
“We have shown improvement in our performance in the last few matches and we have to continue improving. After the first phase of the league, the team has consolidated the system, the idea and now we have to improve and increase our attacking performance,” said the ATK Mohun Bagan coach.