Have full confidence on Atletico’s ability: Coach Habas

Kolkata, Oct 12 (IANS) Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio Lopez Habas on Monday said he has full confidence in his depleted side as they take on Kerala Blasters in an Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Tuesday.

“I cannot give any excuses (on missing key-players). I have absolute confidence in the players playing tomorrow. Injuries can happen any time, they are a part and parcel of the game. It is also a proud moment for the players who are representing their national sides,” Habas told media persons at the pre-match conference.

The Spaniard also added he can’t cry over the unavailability of players and has to field the best outfit possible against a strong Kerala side. ATK and Blasters both have four points each from two matches.

“I just cannot cry. I have to put the best side forward for tomorrow’s game. We have to be on our toes,” Habas said.

Defenders Rino Anto and Arnab Mondal are away on national duty and if Josemi doesn’t recover in time, Spanish midfielder Borja Fernandez would take up additional responsibilities at the back.

“Borja is the captain, he has to play with added responsibility.”

Asked about the standard of refereeing in the competition, Habas said: “Let us not talk about it. Last match I lost my cool but let us now focus only on tomorrow’s game.”

The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) disciplinary committee on Sunday fined Habas for engaging in public criticism of match officials after their 1-1 draw in Goa October 7.

Speaking about the newly-laid grass surface at the Salt Lake Stadium, the Spaniard said: “Natural grass is great for players. Earlier because of the artificial turf movement was difficult.”

“Before this, we have had two tough matches. Finally good to be back here. Collectively we have to do well tomorrow,” he concluded.

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