ATK head coach Antonio Habas has admitted that their match against Chennaiyin FC was a difficult one by all means but praised his players for churning out a win despite that. He cited the instance of their loss in Kerala, stating that sometimes playing well doesn’t result in a win and vice versa.
Despite coming to the match with momentum on their side after a 5-0 win against Hyderabad, the Kolkata-based side found it difficult against a Chennaiyin side that was struggling to win. However, a solo David Williams goal, which was his third of the tournament, saw the two-time champions coming out with an unlikely win.
Not happy with the tiring display that his team put but Habas praised his players for the grind they put in for the three points. “I think we have many individual players who are capable of scoring. The positive from tonight’s game is that we won the game despite it being a difficult match for us. The team knows that we can play well and more importantly we scored (tonight),” said Habas, reported ISL website.
“We still need to improve though, maybe the team was a bit tired because we put in a lot of effort in our last match in Kolkata,” he told the media at the post-match press conference,” he added.
ATK had gotten only four days of rest since their demolition of Hyderabad FC last Friday and that blended with humid Chennai weather meant that the match was breathless. Habas acknowledged that his team had to put extra effort to play the match and were under pressure.
“The team found it difficult to keep up with the pace of the match tonight. I’m not sure why. Maybe, it was because we put in a lot of effort in our last match in Kolkata as there was a lot of tension in the build-up to that game. We were under some pressure tonight, but we now have to focus on the future. Tonight, we weren’t at our best and got a win, while at Kerala we played well and didn’t. That’s football,” Habas later added.
One of ATK’s biggest strengths has been the individual characters on the pitch. In the likes of Roy Krishna, Williams, Edu Garcia, Michael Soosairaj, and more, they have all been talented in their means and it has benefitted the side hugely. However, in the second half, the dehydration crept in and Soosairaj was seen being stretchered out with a pulled muscle.
And Habas pointed out that it was ATK’s lack of offence that led to individual errors at the back. “I think in the first-half, Chennaiyin had a few chances and we were also denied by a wrong offside call. But in the second-half, I thought my defence was tighter. We made some individual errors but that’s the result of not attacking more in the second-half. But the defence was good, solid and positive. You can play well sometimes and not win but we won, which is why I think it was a good match for us,” he added.
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