The Spanish coach remained cautious before facing an “improved” Kerala Blasters squad…
Following their third loss of the current Indian Super League (ISL) season to NorthEas United in their final game, ATK Mohun Bagan will hope to return to victory when they face the Kerala Blasters on Sunday.
The Mariners currently sit second in the standings, but are six points behind leaders Mumbai City. Therefore, the Calcutta-based team cannot afford to lose a point against the Yellow Army if they are to stay in the race for the AFC Champions League (ACL) spot.
ATK Mohun Bagan’s latest outing against the Highlanders was marred by controversial arbitration rulings. Luis Machado had scored the game’s opening goal but in doing so he was guilty of pushing opposing defender Tiri to the ground, which appeared to be a foul.
Coach Antonio Habas was understandably frustrated with the refereeing, but refused to cite bad refereeing as an excuse before facing the Kerala Blasters.
“The situation of the referees, I don’t understand,” Habas said. “Maybe we are unlucky with some of the refs. In the last game, we conceded the goal even though it was a clear foul. After this penalty to Roy Krishna not given and an offside. In my opinion, a referee can make one mistake or two mistakes but cannot make three mistakes in the same game. We have to support the referees but sometimes I don’t understand their decisions. We must continue. In my career, I have never thought of refereeing before a match and I will continue the same. “
ATK Mohun Bagan had taken over the Kerala Blasters the last time the teams met in the season opener. Habas, however, remained cautious ahead of facing Kibu Vicuna’s side, suggesting that the South Indian club had improved a lot over the season.
“The Kerala Blasters are a good opponent. I think they had an opportunity to win in the last game and we needed a lot of effort, discipline and intelligence to win that draw. They have improved a lot. But we have to think about our game and not think about it. “
Goal scoring has been a major issue for Habas’ men this season. Despite being in the top half of the league, the Kolkata giants have only managed to score 13 goals in as many matches. But the Spain coach mentioned that he has seen an improvement in his team’s performance lately.
“We have shown an improvement in our performance in the last few matches and we have to keep improving. After the first phase of the league, the team consolidated the system, the idea and now we have to improve and increase our offensive performance ”. ATK coach Mohun Bagan said.