Saturday, January 29, 2022

ISL: ATK Mohun Bagan and Head Coach Antonio Lopez Habas have parted ways

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Antonio Habas has resigned down as ATK Mohun Bagan‘s head coach following a four-match losing streak, two of which were losses. Last night, the Spaniard submitted his documents, which were accepted the next morning. For the club’s next encounter against NorthEast United on December 21, assistant coach Manuel Cascallana will take over as interim head coach.

The club is in talks with two coaches who have previously worked in the ISL and another who is now the head coach of an ISL squad to take over the team.

As per the sources, it states that: “ATK Mohun Bagan are already in talks with three coaches to replace the Spaniard. Two among those coaches have previously managed in the Indian Super League, while the third is currently the head coach of an ISL team this season.”

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Habas, who led ATK Mohun Bagan to the ISL playoffs final last season and to the AFC Cup knockout stages in 2021, stated his team “lacked identity” after a 3-3 draw with Bengaluru FC, in which ATKMB gave up a lead twice. After a strong start to the season with successive victories, ATK Mohun Bagan’s season took an unexpected turn.

The Mariners were blasted 5-1 by defending champions Mumbai City before falling to Jamshedpur FC 2-1. Antonio Habas’ team was badly outplayed in both games.

They showed indications of improvement in a 1-1 tie against Chennaiyin FC, but they were still second-best on the night before being held to a 1-1 draw by Bengaluru, who are currently in 10th place in the table.

Habas’ Time as the Head Coach

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Following the merger with ATK, Habas led the Mariners to a second-place finish in their first season in the ISL. He also led them to the AFC Cup playoff final and knockout stages in 2021. Habas managed ATK Mohun Bagan in 33 games, winning 17 of them, including two this season. He also had to deal with eight losses and seven ties. Habas commanded 29 games in the ISL, winning 15, drawing seven, and losing seven.

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Habas’ ISL Performance

With two titles under his belt, the 64-year-old is the most accomplished coach in the ISL’s brief existence. They were both parts of the ATK franchise. In 2014, he won the inaugural ISL season with Atletico de Kolkata, which was given that name because of their affiliation with Atletico Madrid. The following season, Habas led the team to the playoffs.

In 2019, he returned to the franchise, now known as ATK, and won the championship for the second time. Habas stayed as coach after ATK’s merger with then-I-League champions Mohun Bagan and the formation of ATK Mohun Bagan.

He led the club to a second-place finish in the league in its inaugural season. He also led them to the championship game of the playoffs. ATKMB surrendered the title in both cases to Mumbai City, who handed them their first defeat of the season.

Read: ATK Mohun Bagan 3-3 Bengaluru FC: 3 talking points from entertaining draw


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