Atlas FC head coach Diego Cocca defended his side’s start to the 2022 Liga MX Apertura, firmly claiming the team “is not a disaster.”
The team has seen just two victories in nine matches, dropping to 11th on the Liga MX table with a mere eight points and record of 2W-5L-2D. But Cocca blamed the string of negative results on the club’s tight schedule.
“You have to put yourself in the context; we came from playing a clasico with a heavy pitch and with everything that the clasico means and playing after 3 days without training is complicated with a rival who had been resting without having played, it is a tough rival,” he said at a press conference.
"We must draw the positive and conclusions for what is coming because the challenge is this: we play every 3 days without preseason and come out two-time champions. If we had won we wouldn't have been the best and today we are not a disaster. We are in the process of finding ourselves.”
But expectations remain high after Atlas managed back-to-back Liga MX titles.
In 2021, the Black and Red lifted their first trophy since the 1950-1951 campaign by defeating Leon in penalties 4-3 after the aggregate draw of 3-3. The team came back stronger in 2022, bringing home the third title when triumphing 3-2 against Pachuca.
Now, fans demand the same strength that brought back two consecutive trophies and Cocca remains committed in bringing it back.
“I consider that football is a whole; there is the physical, tactical, strategic and mental part, it is all together. In all these areas we have to be at 100 and it is very difficult to demand it now with this preparation, but I have no doubt that the team is committed,” added the coach.
“We have to be careful that players are not injured, hopefully there will be fewer expulsions and we have those with the highest hierarchy on the field so that the team is what it was before, we will continue working, there is no other."
The team returns to action on Saturday when hosting Pachuca at Jalisco Stadium.