ISL: Fantastic to play on natural grass this time, says Kolkata coach

Kolkata: Atletico de Kolkata head coach Antonio Habas, who is back with his ISL-winning team for a second season, is excited that they would get to play on natural grass at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan here.

The work for relaying of natural grass is almost over and ATK's home ground would be ready when they return from Madrid after a two-week pre-season training in September. "It's fantastic that the artificial turf is now a thing of past. Great to hear that they have changed the pitch to natural grass," Habas said today.

The Spaniard has a reason to say so as he felt this would silence the critics who had alleged that ATK got some advantage because of the artificial surface at the Salt Lake Stadium.

"People talked last time that we had the advantage but let me tell you we had to struggle the most because we kept switching from artificial to natural in away matches." Being the defending champions has its own pressure and Habas compared it to tennis fans' expectations from Swiss legend Roger Federer who is vying for his eighth Wimbledon title.

"Our pressure is something similar to that of Federer. Even he has pressure to defend Wimbledon," he said.

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