Kolkata, Dec 1 (IANS) FC Pune City football coach Antonio Habas on Thursday made light of comparisons of coaching his former side Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) with his current employers, likening it to two girlfriends who cannot be put on the same plate.
“The two cannot be compared. Just like you cannot compare two girlfriends,” Habas, whose team are out of the reckoning for qualification for the semi-finals of the Indian Super League (ISL), said on the eve of their inconsequential tie against ATK at the Rabindra Sarovar stadium here on Friday.
“This is not between me and ATK but Pune and ATK. We will go for three points tomorrow and end on a high,” the Spaniard said.
Habas coached ATK in the inaugural edition of the ISL making them champions and guiding them to the semi-finals last year. He switched allegiance to Pune this year.
But he couldn’t reach the heights of ATK, as his current team is already out of contention for the semis.
On his team’s poor run which culminated in their exit, Habas said, “You can see we lost two important players in (Andre) Bikey and (Eidur) Gudjohnsen. So that changed things.”
“ATK have 80 percent foreigners same. We have to tell Pune management to retain the same players. We have almost 90 percent squad new so it takes time,” said Habas.
Habas’ ATK counterpart Jose Molina lauded his predecessor for his work with the city franchise, adding there is no added pressure ahead of facing his fellow Spaniard.
“Antonio did a great job at ATK. I am trying to do the same. Now we are focussed to win tomorrow. We are not under pressure. The main aim was reaching the semis. That’s in our pocket. We are professionals,” Molina said.
ATK has already reached the semi-finals.
Midfielder Sameegh Doutie, who had a fever before the last game against Kerala Blasters, has recovered, Molina said.
“Doutie is ok and fit for tomorrow’s game. Debjit (Mazumder) and (Henrique) Sereno have bookings (three yellows) so I don’t want them to be suspended for the semis,” Molina said.