Happy for the win, not the performance: ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando was satisfied with the result but not the performance as the Mariners beat Bengaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday.

Dimitri Petratos’ goal proved to be the difference as ATKMB secured their first away victory of the season while for Bengaluru FC, it was their fifth defeat this campaign. The result sees Ferrando’s side consolidate their place on the fourth spot after 16 points in eight games.

Ferrando, who attended the post-match press conference, felt his side could have performed better in possession and while defending the second balls. The Spaniard, however, was pleased that his side came out with a win against a tough opponent and away from home.

Here are the excerpts from Ferrando’s press conference:

What do you think about your team’s performance?

I’m not completely happy. I think we have the same problem when we play away - the first 10-20 minutes, the team is not ready, they are misplacing passes. In my point of view, we have a lot of space (to exploit) on the right and left (side) with Suresh (Wangjam), but when we decided to attack in these areas, the last pass or the last control of the ball was not good.

Then, the second when we are moving with the ball, we need to improve a lot in these details. In the second half, when Bengaluru FC decided to play towards our goal and with the second balls, honestly, we were like two teams. One team in defence and one in attack, it’s not good. In this case, it’s necessary to be closer, more compact and in this case, the match was easy for us. It’s okay to accept that we had a very good team in front of us and the players were playing (away) in Bengaluru. I’m happy with the three points, but not the performance.

How close do you think your team is in terms of delivering the performance that you want them to?

Sometimes when you play one way, it’s necessary to be clear in the concepts. Everybody knew that we were playing a good opponent but we knew the plan of the opponent. And when you are on the field, you need to be clear with your ideas. The team knew that they would play from the back with (Sandesh) Jhingan, (Aleksandar) Jovanovic playing the second balls for Roy Krishna or (Sunil) Chhetri. We practised this week about this situation and when no one wins the second ball, I was disappointed because we practised this. If the opponent had a new plan, I would have accepted that, but in this case when we played against them, we needed to be clear. But honestly, I am happy (with the result) because this team (Bengaluru FC) won the Durand Cup, they have a very good squad and it’s difficult to win here at this stadium.

In Joni Kauko’s absence, Carl McHugh played and he was instrumental in marking Javi (Hernandez) from the offset. Was that a clear plan?

When you work in defence, the most important thing is to keep the ball. This is our plan and if you decide to give the ball to the opponent, 100% we would have no success in defence. It’s not only necessary to only work for the second balls..but you need to work a lot. For example, in my point of view, Javi (Hernandez) is the motor of the team and it’s difficult to control this situation, because it’s one player with a lot of talent and quality. Sometimes, the players with a lot of talent or qualities are not working, but in this case with Javi, it’s incredible. And I was talking about this (to the players) to pay attention because if they win the second ball and Javi receives the ball in good conditions, maybe we would have problems. Bengaluru FC had three clear opportunities when Javi received the ball between the lines.

We have seen the kind of football that you played with FC Goa. How close are you to implementing your style of football with this team?

For us, we were working with different plans during the last two-three years. This team used to play a different way but now, we tried to change this way. It’s not so easy because some players worked the last two-three years in the same way, and when you change, it’s a problem. But this is my job. Try to exercise, try to find concepts and new methodologies to help the players and work in the same way. I think it’s good. FC Goa for example, they have success because they play with the ball. It’s easier to have success this way (playing with the ball), maybe in two-three four years, but it’s easy. Football is amazing, because you watch the World Cup and the teams have completely different styles. Sometimes, they have success, sometimes not. But this is the best way (to play with the ball) and I have talented players. I hope we have success at the end of the season.

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