KOLKATA: Antonio Lopez Habas has welcomed the merger of the ATK and Mohun Bagan football teams – that will come into existence from June 1 – stating that he has full respect for the 130-year-old club and working with unity will be the primary aim.
It was recently announced that RPSG Group, that owns and runs Indian Super League side ATK FC, and Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited – that controls Mohun Bagan football team – will come together to form a new football team. The new entity is set to be called ATK Mohun Bagan with RPSG Group holding 80 per cent shares and Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited having the remaining 20 per cent.
It is also learnt that ATK coach Habas is likely to be the head coach of the new team.
“It is a professional move and I have to accept that. We have to work with unity, for the betterment of the club and to build a fantastic team. That is the idea of the owners and also the staff,” Habas told reporters on Saturday, ahead of their ISL match against NorthEast United FC.
“I have 100 per cent respect for Mohun Bagan. They have a huge heritage and we can’t forget that,” the Spaniard added.
ATK, who have 24 points from 13 games with seven wins, will be up against NEUFC at the Salt Lake Stadium on Monday.
They will go into the match high on confidence after their thumping 2-0 victory over FC Goa in their last game.
But Habas is not taking their opponents lightly.
“They (NEUFC) are a difficult side. There are small differences between the teams in the league. It is an important match for us. We are not looking too far ahead but taking one game at a time,” he said.
Australian striker David Williams, who missed the last two matches due to injury is back in training and Habas feels it is a big plus for the side. “Williams is training and he has recovered well. Whether he will be in starting XI… I have to evaluate that. But being back in training is good news for us,” the 62-year-old coach said.
ATK’s Fijian striker Roy Krishna, who has been in fine form with eight goals to his name, said he is optimistic of team’s chances of winning the title this season. “We are playing good football. We have to be spot on, stay focused and not be overconfident,” Roy said.
“For me it doesn’t matter if I am scoring or not as long as my team is winning. I am happy to help my team win and that is the main target. Trophies matter to me and we will do anything for that,” he signed off.