FC Pune City coach Antonio Habas will be encouraged to beat his personal record as he is pitted against his FC Goa counterpart Zico in an attempt to get his team out of the bottom in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) clash at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Balewadi on Thursday.
Habas and Zico are both experiencing rough weather in the ISL for the first time but Habas will understandably be more confident in this battle of bottom-rankers. In the seven encounters between these two coaches, Habas has put it across Zico on four occasions and the legendary Brazilian coach has failed to win a single game. Worse still, Zico’s side has managed to score just four goals in seven appearances against a team managed by Habas, Atletico de Kolkata in this case.
FC Pune City are placed seventh on the table with six points from six matches. Their wretched form at home has seen them pick up just two points from a possible 12 and they are yet to win at home. Fortunately for Pune, they have never lost against FC Goa at home (won 1, draw 1) and would look to keep the record intact, preferably with a win.
Pune’s four-match winless run is currently the longest in ISL 3 and their six points from six matches is their worst start in the ISL. But Habas remains unperturbed.
“I remember last season Chennaiyin had a bad start losing a lot of games, and we are working because our marquee player came in the first week of October and the team is also 90 percent new but we are working,” said Habas.
FC Goa, too, have had their worst start to an ISL campaign as Zico’s side find themselves at the bottom of the pool table with four points from seven matches. In the first edition, FC Goa had just five points at the end of the first leg but still managed to qualify for the semi-finals where they lost to Atletico de Kolkata, then coached by Habas.
This time around too Zico remains positive, although he admits the task is a little bit more difficult.