KOLKATA: Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio Lopez Habas is taking one match at a time as he prepares his team for a pivotal clash ahead of the Wednesday clash against Chennaiyin FC in the Hero Indian Super League match in Kolkata.
Atletico de Kolkata are hovering around the play off spot with 14 points from 10 matches and play all their remaining matches at home. Their next round matches include FC Goa (November 22), FC Pune City (November 27) and Mumbai City FC (December 4) other than playing Chennaiyin FC on November 18, all of them to be in Kolkata.
With home advantage, Atletico de Kolkata seems to be in a good position to make it to the top four and qualify for the semifinals but Habas knows that there is little to separate teams in the ISL this season. Also, Atletico de Kolkata have lost two of the three matches they have played at home.
“Every game is important now. But the most important match is tomorrow and we want the three points. After tomorrow’s match, we can think about the next match,” Habas said during the pre-match media briefing.
Atletico de Kolkata defeated Chennaiyin FC in the ISL 2 opener with marquee player Helder Postiga scoring two of the three goals. Postiga has now returned from injury and Habas can count on him for more goals.
Habas will also be able to choose Dejan Lekic, the Serbian striker who has recently joined the squad. “I have an opinion about him but it’s not possible to tell you at a press conference,” said Habas.
On other side, Chennaiyin FC find themselves at the bottom of the pool for the first time since the start of ISL in 2014, with 10 points from nine matches. Marco Materazzi’s side demolished FC Goa 4-0 in Goa in one of the best display of attacking football in the league but since that victory, Chennaiyin FC have not measured up to the challenge.
Manager Marco Materazzi has not lost faith in his team and believes they can still qualify for the semifinals as one of the top four teams.
“This is a good team but we have not played to our potential,” said Marco.
Most of the goals for Chennaiyin FC have been scored by Stiven Mendoza and Elano Blumer, who among them have scored 10 of the team’s 11 goals. Materazzi, however, neither praised or admonished any single individual player.
“We win and lose together,” he said.