Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) coach Antonio Lopez Habas on Friday said his team’s mentality has grown with every passing game in the Indian Super League (ISL) and hence they are now reaping the results.
The defending champions overwhelmed FC Pune City 4-1 here and became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals.
“Our mentality has grown with every game, and that why we are doing fantastic now. In football, you can lose a game and then go win, win, win so now we are going through such a phase. Football is all about the mental state,” Habas told reporters.
Asked what magic he has done with ATK that they have now clinched three matches in a row and are on the top of the leader board, Habas said: “The magic is all about discipline and talent. One has to go on working hard. Talent and hardwork is the perfect combination.”
He also said their pre season training in Spain are now helping them to win games.
“We practiced in Spain with hard precision and now we are getting the rewards. You can chose Iain Hume and (Sameegh) Doutie to start and then somebody is coming of the bench and scoring. So its great,” the Spaniard said.
Hume scored his second hattrick of the season on Friday evening and Habas said it was all due to the striker’s undying “energy”.
The coach also did not choose to talk about the semis.
“We have to play Mumbai next, we take one game at a time. That is my philosophy.”
FC Pune City gaffer David Platt said they had played a good game but ironically they conceded more goals on the day.
“We played well today(on Friday). Created a lot of chances but ironically we conceded so many goals. The score line does not reflect how we played,” he said.
Platt said it was very difficult to break ATK down.
“It was very difficult to find room against Atletico, they had so many men behind the ball. Adrian Mutu did it a few times but some efforts rattled the posts and a few cleared of the line,” he said.
The former England under-21 manager still believes his team can make it through to the last four by winning the next two games.
“As professionals we should look to win the next two games and see if we can make it to the top four,” said the former Arsenal star.
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