For us, football is about the supporters: ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando expressed his gratitude to the fans, who cheered in large numbers for the Mariners, as they beat Hyderabad FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Saturday. As much as 26,000 supporters filled the stands to cheer their home team and ATKMB rode on the adrenaline rush as Hugo Boumous' strike sealed all the three points, helping the hosts return to winning ways.
Their fourth win of the season sees ATK Mohun Bagan rise to fourth place in the Hero ISL table. Despite a win against the defending Hero ISL champions, Ferrando demanded his team to focus on the next fixture against Bengaluru FC. He also praised new signings Ashique Kuruniyan and Asish Rai for playing a key role in their win and backed the duo to do well in the future.
Here are the excerpts from Ferrando’s post-match press conference:
The team got three points against the league leaders. Do you think the road to the Championship is on?
Honestly, now I’m thinking about Bengaluru FC. It’s not good if we are thinking about the final target, the final goal. For us, it’s about the next target and the next one is Bengaluru FC. Today is important for players because today it’s necessary to recognize the form of the team because we have a lot of injuries and important injuries. The players like Ashique (Kuruniyan), and Singh (Manvir) supported us a lot. Today it’s important to analyze and from Sunday, we start preparing for Bengaluru FC.
The team is creating a lot of chances but missing in the final third. What do you think is the reason behind it?
We got the three points, we won. I don't think it’s a problem. I hope we miss chances if the team is getting three points, it’s not a problem. The problem is when you have opportunities but in the end, you lose the match. Today it’s not good to tell the players in this situation that this is a problem, I think it’s amazing, to win the match against Hyderabad FC, who were at the top of the table. That team is working for the last three years with the players like Victor (Joao), Ogbeche (Bartholomew), Chinglensana (Singh). We won the match, I think it’s not a problem.
Can you update us about the injuries to Manvir(Singh) and Dimitri Petratos? Any plans for the transfer window?
I think it’s difficult, Joni (Kauko) is out of the season, and it’s impossible for Tiri to recover. We will see about Petratos and Manvir. At this moment, we have six-seven important injuries, some players have knocks. It’s part of football but we have a good squad. If Manvir is not ready, we have Kiyan (Nassiri), if Kiyan is not ready we have (Mohammed) Fardin. I’m happy that we have 26 players and they are ready.
About the transfer targets, I think that’s about the future, and for us, it’s important to focus on Bengaluru FC at this moment. After three-four matches we will see the situation about the feelings of the players, and how tired they are, and maybe we find the players, maybe not, this decision is for three-four weeks.
Today it was a good performance from Ashique (Kuruniyan) and Asish Rai, especially Rai. So we can expect more from Rai in the future?
It’s the first year for both of the players with us. It changes a lot of things as it’s not like when you play in Hyderabad FC or Bengaluru FC. When you play in ATK Mohun Bagan, it’s totally different. Secondly, in this case, we use these players in different positions and they need to work in this way and third, I think it’s difficult for them to work in this team as with new teammates and all the matches they have played here is the one friendly with our own team and of course, Durand Cup. I know these players, I trust them a hundred percent and step by step with time and in two to three seasons the performances by the players will be very good.
Twenty six thousand supporters turned up for the match. What are your thoughts?
Honestly, for us to play football is for the supporters. I hope in all the matches, we get the supporters for support and a lot of crowds to watch the game. Of course, sometimes the emotions are difficult to control but in the end, football is about them, making the supporters enjoy.