Always look to win matches by big margin, so it's a good challenge: ATK Mohun Bagan's Juan Ferrando
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando recalled identical situations faced during his coaching career where his team needed to win by more than one goal to achieve a target. The Mariners need to win by a margin of at least a couple of goals to claim the League Winners' Shield, as they take on leaders Jamshedpur FC in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa on Monday.
ATK Mohun Bagan are currently placed at the third spot in the league table, with 37 points from 19 matches. As per the calculations, a win would ensure them a second place finish, but they need to push the margin for grabbing the top prize.
Ferrando addressed the pre-match press conference ahead of Monday’s game.
Here are the excerpts from the press conference:
Talking about Monday’s game, the fact is that ATK Mohun Bagan has to win the game by two goals or more to win the League Winners Shield. Do you think that the situation makes it tougher for the players?
No, I think it's a good challenge. I think that if you want to win the championship, it is necessary to get three points every game. And this is our challenge, you know, to try to score some goals. This case, for me, is not the only time I am thinking about winning with more than a one-goal margin. We try to win 2-0, 3-0.
I hope we have success, but, minute by minute, it is necessary to control the game. It’s not so easy, but to be honest it is a great opportunity because we are in the last game with one opportunity to get the trophy (League Winners Shield).
Have you ever been in this kind of situation, where your team not only has to win, but with a certain margin?
I remember in 2015 it was necessary to win 5-0 to qualify for the playoffs of the (UEFA) Champions League. In the end, we won 5-0. Also, for the playoffs of the Europa League in 2014, it was necessary to win 2-0 and at the end, we won 2-0. For example, for the playoffs in Spain, it was very important to win at home 2-0, at the end, we won 2-0.
A lot of time I was in this kind of situation, you know, but every game, every competition is different. I think it's necessary to learn a lot and then at the end experience is important, but the most important is to make a good plan and try to help the players every minute.
What do you think are the strongest points of Jamshedpur FC?
I think everybody really knows. They have two centre-backs with experience, including Peter Hartley. And they have Greg Stewart, whom I think is maybe the biggest recruit of this season because his performance was very good in all the games and he is a very good player. Their signing in January, Daniel Chima Chukwu, the number nine, he is a smart player.
Then Alex Lima, he is a good midfielder and then they have good wingers like Len (Doungel) They are working hard. There are a lot of (strong) points and in this case, with Pronay (Halder), I think there's a balance in the team.
How are you motivating your players ahead of the match. Are you treating this match as a knock-out final?
Well, of course we are motivated 100%. It's a great challenge for us, you know for me, I'm happy because the last game, until the last minute, until the last day, we have a great opportunity to win the championship (League Winners Shield). Of course, we have a lot of respect for Jamshedpur FC, but we need to focus on our job and I hope our plan will succeed in the end.