Atletico de Kolkata have a mountain to climb in the second leg of the semi final against Chennaiyin FC on Wednesday, after their thumping in the hands of the Super Machans in Pune.
Having succumbed to a 3-0 defeat in the first leg, the atmosphere in the pre-match press conference was quite tense, as the Red and Whites coach Antonio Lopez Habas preferred to keep his opiniona s succinct.
Habas has a difficult task on hand after being trounced by Chennaiyin FC, but the Spaniard has refused to give up on the dire situation, despite his side needing at least three goals to extend the game to extra time.
a Yes. I believe in Miracles. I’m planning everyday; it’s about attack, attack and defend… We have 90 minutes tomorrow to win the game. We have to find a way.
Habas, known for his safety first approach from last season, promised that Atletico de Kolkata will take the game to their opponents while maintaining their respect for their opponents, as he refused to believe that his players will find it hard to motivate themselves after their huge mauling in the first leg.
a We are professional and should have no problems in motivating despite our result in the last match. We must respect the opponent and their staff and will need their support more than any other day.a
Postigaa s chances
The constant questioning regarding Atletico de Kolkataa s marquee forward Helder Postiga had struck Habasa nerve last match, and when was quizzed about Postigaa s chance in the press conference the fiery tempered coach expressed signs of frustrations.
a You’re asking me the same question before the start of every match. He has serious injury and there is no possibility for him to play. Do you think I would not have played him, if he were fit? He’s just training with the team from last month. Ita s the coach who decides the fitness of a player. There is nothing more to the issue behind his return to Kolkata.a
Habas has a winning mentality and hates to cite any excuse for his defeats, and his mentality again came to forefront during the conference, as he declined to suggest that his teams will start the second leg as underdogs despite major doubts to their midfield mainstays Borja Fernandez and Ofentse Nato.
a No problem. I don’t want to make any excuse. We have 26 players in the squad. Everyone can’t play every day.a
The pre-match press conference also gave a slight insight into Habasa style of playing football, as the Spaniard explained his attacking approach in the last game.
a I dona t believe in a strategy to win the tie by winning the second game. We may lose the second game due to an injuries or multiple reasons, so we cana t go with such a strategy.a
Habas, though, urged the Atletico de Kolkata supporters to come in huge numbers to support the team, as the team will need every bit of advantage to turn around the huge deficit from the first leg.
a Fans are always important and tomorrow we will need the full support for tomorrowa s match to help us overcome the deficit.a