ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando expressed disappointment after not winning the first leg of the second semi-final of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 against Hyderabad FC, which ended in a 0-0 stalemate at the GMC Balayogi Stadium, in Hyderabad, on Thursday.

Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan are known for their solid defensive display which has resulted in both teams collecting the joint most number of clean sheets (10) in the league phase. With both teams being robust on their defensive front, neither team was able to outclass the other on the attacking front.

Ferrando wanted to get a result away from home and expected a better display from his players, but appreciated the performance against the second best team in the Hero ISL 2022-23 season, who are also the reigning champions.

“We are disappointed about the result, we came here to win the match against a tough opposition. Hyderabad FC are a good squad with good players, and this is the reason they finished second in the points table and at this moment, they are the reigning champions of the Hero ISL. We have to prepare for the second leg, we do not have a lot of time, and we accept that Hyderabad FC are a team, against whom it is difficult to create chances and find spaces,” Ferrando stated in the official post-match press conference.

ATK Mohun Bagan will meet Hyderabad FC again in the second leg of the semi-final on Monday and the head coach is keen on exercising his plans with his players and come up with a more suitable gameplan against a tough opponent in order to get a positive result.

“I never change the plans, and my team always tries to be progressive in the build up and try to find spaces. Our mentality is the same, obviously, but the opponent is more progressive tactically and on offence, so we need to work on our defence. Our style and mentality have not changed over the season, and it will not in the next game,” he said.

Being the first goalless draw between the two teams in 10 fixtures, both sides will be keen on going full throttle in the upcoming leg in Kolkata. Ferrando has urged his players to shift their focus on the attacking front in the upcoming leg.

“The next match is a final, and it will be necessary to play offensively. We will try to win the next match and play in the final (in Goa), so the mentality of both teams will be to win the match,” he said.

The Mariners conceded 17 goals in the league phase and were flawless defensively over the entirety of the 20 games this season. However offensively, the Kolkata side scored the least amount of goals (24) among the top six. The Spaniard raised it as a concern ahead of the second leg and highlighted how his attackers lacked confidence.

“It is about confidence, we create a lot of chances in a lot of matches, but it depends on the psychology of the players, which is another important part of football. In our case, it was tough for us this season, and we have to accept it,” he added.

Having played out a draw away from home, the Green and Maroons will be banking on the presence of supporters at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan. The Mariners boast an impressive record at home, with seven wins from 10 games this season, second best to Shield winners Mumbai City FC.

“I hope we perform well in front of the home fans, but in the end, it is all about 90 minutes. There will be extra motivation to win when we play in front of our supporters, which will help us, but our focus will be more on the tactical details, which are more important to winning games,” the Spaniard commented.

“Our supporters are amazing, and they will be there 100% on Monday because they want their team to reach the final,” he concluded," he concluded.