ATK Mohun Bagan have endured a tough start to the season as they were knocked out of the AFC Cup and the Durand Cup much earlier than what they would have expected.

The Mariners are now gearing up for the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season as they aim to finally lay their hands on the trophy after reaching the final and the semi-finals in the last two seasons.

The Kolkata giants have signed a lot of new players in the summer to significantly strengthen their squad ahead of the new season and there will be pressure on head coach Juan Ferrando to deliver.

The Spaniard who had a good spell at FC Goa before joining the Mariners last season is confident about his team’s chances despite the recent disappointments in cup competitions.

Ferrando spoke to ahead of the new season about his new signings, the younger players in the squad and the fans.

Here are the excerpts:

It's been a difficult start to the season for your team in the AFC Cup and Durand Cup. How do you plan to shake off these disappointments before the Hero ISL season?

Of course, we are disappointed, especially in the AFC cup. But it's time to think about the present and future. I don't think the opponent was better than us in the game, we need to improve in some details like set pieces and transitions

What's your assessment of Florentin Pogba and Brendan Hamill? What role do you expect them to play this season?

Pogba and Hamil help the team for sure. They are very good professionals and will be ready to support the team on and off the field. But don’t forget we are a team, so we need to work as a team in defence and attack.

What do you make of Dimitrios Petratos? Can he fill the void left by Roy Krishna and David Williams' departure?

Dimitrios is 100% ready. He has a lot of quality and his performance now (in training) is very good. We hope he can show his talent in every match.

With a bit more experience under their belt, do you expect new Indian boys like Ashish Rai, Ashique Kuruniyan, Lalrinliana Hnamte, and Mohammed Ali Fardin to step up?

Our goal as a staff is to protect them and work in one way. They are the future and it is necessary to find the best moments for them. Of course, the experienced players are working like teachers in every training session.

This season you have to play league matches in front of a huge crowd at home. How do you think it will impact your players?

Playing in front of our fans is an amazing experience. They are very important to us. In difficult moments they are there and support us.