ATK head coach Antonio Lopez Habas has refused to delve into what his first eleven would be or if Jobby Justin would be a part of it, ahead of their clash against Jamshedpur FC. The Spaniard, however, revealed that they have a plan A and plan B in place for the Men of Steel on Saturday.
While most ISL sides have been injury-plagued after the first half of the ISL season before it would be heading to the first international break, ATK have been largely unscathed. And they would get a welcome boost after Jobby Justin returned to the squad after being suspended for the initial stages.
While Prabir Das has been quite instrumental for the side playing as the right wing-back, it seems highly unlikely that Habas will remove the defensive player for Justin. However, the coach kept the cards close to his chest.
“We have an idea of the match. We have plan A and plan B. I don’t want to say anything about this (will Jobby start). I don’t want to say anything now about the first 11 for the match,” said Habas at the pre-match press conference, reported ISL.
After performing well against Kerala Blasters, Hyderabad FC, and Chennayin FC, where the Kolkata side got two wins in three matches, an in-form Jamshedpur FC would be a tricky opponent. And Habas admitted his respect for the Steelers.
“We have to respect every team. We have the maximum respect for the opponent, for their technical staff and their players. We have to compete 11v11 on the pitch. I think they are a good team. They have a good coach as well,” he said.
Though the likes of midfielder Piti and goalkeeper Subrata Paul have been the standout performers for Jamshedpur, Habas refused to pick any individual threat. “I saw all matches in the Hero ISL. I don’t want to choose one player over others. We have to play against Jamshedpur and not against only their goalkeeper. This is my idea,” he added.
Justin, who was also present with the manager at the press conference, stated that his primary aim would be to cement his place in the first team. “For me, my aim is to be in the 11 and to start games. As a professional player, I have a good coach and he has built a good strategy. He tries to play me in every position. Wherever the team needs me, I need to be there. So, I am waiting for a chance,” he said.