ISL 2020-21 final: Antonio Lopez Habas confident of past final experience coming in handy
ATK Mohun Bagan managed to finish second in the Indian Super League 2020-21 table and beat NorthEast United FC in the semis. The side meets Mumbai City FC in the final, having failed to defeat the side on the previous two occasions in the league stage.
The stage is set for a glaring final, as ATK Mohun Bagan gets set to take on Mumbai City FC during the 2020-21 Indian Super League at the Fatorda Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. While City would be playing its maiden final, ATKMB is technically not playing its first final since, before the MB merger, ATK happened to be a three-time champion.
However, what is notable for ATKMB that it has failed to beat City in the previous two instances of the league stage. Nonetheless, ATKMB boss Antonio Lopez Habas is barely concerned by it. At the same time, it feels that having the experience of playing in three previous finals would come in handy, as his boys know how to handle the pressure.
"The feeling is the same. We have to compete and win the final. We have absolute respect for the opponent, but my team is prepared to win. In football, every match is different. In the first match, we had the opportunity to score before Mumbai. And, in the second match, it was accidental to concede only in set-pieces. I think the difference is minimal and I have confidence in my team," he said, reports goal.com.
"The idea is to play well and win. Sometimes, the characteristics in a match are different. We have to analyse the match and control the game accordingly. The opponent also plays to make it difficult when you propose one thing. ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City both have 40 points on top. The styles are different, but we also play good football. Football is not only about possession of the ball," he added.
Meanwhile, City boss Sergio Lobera admitted that his side would somewhat be under pressure to perform in the final. However, he also asserted that provided his side wins, it would be a deserving one.
"We know that they are a very good team with very good players in a good momentum, but the most important thing is to put the focus on ourselves. We need to work 100 per cent in our style of play and our idea," he reckoned, reports Goal.
"I think when you play against good teams, it's not only about what you want. Playing against a team who have the same style, sometimes it's not possible for everything to work during 90 minutes. But, we compete very well in the bad moments and this is the most important thing," he concluded.