All eyes are on ATK Mohun Bagan with new coach, acid test for Northeast United


All eyes will be on ATK Mohun Bagan’s dugout as the Indian football legends take on Northeast United FC in their Indian Super League match here on Tuesday, three days after divorcing the event’s most successful coach. ATK Mohan Baga decided to leave without winning four matches with head coach Antonio Lopez Habas on Saturday – his longest in the ISL.

ATKMB is seventh in the table with eight points from six matches. Habas won the ISL with the previous ATK in 2014 and 2019-20, becoming the first manager to win the title twice. Juan Ferrando is set to replace Habas in the Green and Maroon camps but it remains to be seen whether the high-rated Spanish strategist will be on the bench on Tuesday.

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Ferrando himself made the worst start with FC Goa, losing the first three games before the back-to-back wins against SC East Bengal and Bengaluru FC and kept the Goa ship afloat. Mariners will need to address their defensive concerns. They have kept only one clean sheet this season. Not only are they conceding more goals, they are conceding more shots per match and shots on target per match, inside the box, in dangerous areas.

Interim coach Manuel Cascalana said: “The players are the main actors while the coach is not here. The responsibility is on them. If you lose, you can’t blame the coach or the tactic. “Players need to move forward and capture their moment. Now the only objective should be to win three points. “Assistant coach Bastab Roy does not think the current managerial situation will affect the team’s performance.

“The players are professional. The only goal is to play well and win the match, “said Roy.

Without the services of defender Hernan Santana and striker Deshorn Brown, the NEUFC did a really good job of doing most of the speedwork in the second half with Khassa Kamara. Camara made 93 touchdowns, the most in a single match in his hero ISL career. 93 touches by a NEUFC player in a single match this season was also the highest. It was also the most touching by any player that evening.

“They (ATKMB) have a good team but we only think about ourselves. We did a good job in our last game and we need to keep it going. Players are in a positive mood and want to keep up the momentum. On the eve of the game, coach Khalid Jamil said, “The only way is to work hard and get what we want out of the game.”

Jamil also confirmed that Deshorn Brown and Hernan Santana are fit and will be considered for selection against Bagan.

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