Kolkata, Nov 21 (IANS) Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) coach Antonio Lopez Habas on Saturday said their Indian Super League (ISL) tie on Sunday against FC Goa here would be the most difficult game they have had so far. “Goa are at the top. They are the first team. So I believe it will be the most difficult game till now,” Habas told reporters here.

Speaking about his marquee footballer Helder Postiga, Habas said: “Helder is still not fit enough. We are trying to get him to recover as quickly as possible.” South African midfielder Sameegh Doutie was at his best in the last game against Chennaiyin FC which ATK won 2-1. He scored the opener and then set up Iain Hume for the second.

Habas has successfully picked up talents from South Africa and got them here. When asked about it, the Spaniard said: “I train in South Africa consistently, so I know them very well. And hence I am able to pick up talents like Doutie and Fikru (Fikru Teferra currently plying his trade with Chennaiyin). “Doutie has been fantastic till now, I am very happy with his performance.” Habas also said a few other young talents like the 26-year-old South African would have surely helped his side. “Sameegh is an utility player, Yes! A few more like him would have helped,” he said.

Doutie, who was sitting beside his coach in the media conference, spoke about how he got to the ISL instead of moving into some other league. “The technical staff and the coach got me here. Habas has been working a lot with me. I have learnt a lot about controlling the ball and attacking. For me, I have listened patiently to what the coach had to say. And for me it is all about the team and not individual performances, I am more happy providing an assist than scoring a goal” Doutie said.

 

He added that the league is being followed all over the world. “Everybody is watching the ISL. Even my brother who is in England is following the matches,” Doutie said. Goa come into the game at the back of a 7-0 win against Mumbai. But Habas said it will be a new game and that anything can happen. “Each game is a different game. They may have scored seven in the last game but may not get a single goal against us. But right now they are the best opponent but ATK is prepared to win,” Habas said. “We beat them in the semi-finals last year. So we are 1-0 up (laughs).”

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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