Hyderabad FC will be fearless against us, but we need to believe in ourselves: ATK Mohun Bagan’s Juan Ferrando

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando is not inclined to read too much into Hyderabad FC’s forte and shortcomings but is rather focused on the artillery in his arsenal, as his side takes on Hyderabad FC in the first leg of Semi-Final 1, at the Athletic Stadium, in Panaji, Goa on Saturday evening.

Qualifying for the semi-finals for the second successive Hero ISL season, the Mariners go into the game with an unbeaten record against Hyderabad FC in the Hero ISL. Ferrando acknowledged a terrific Hyderabad FC side, heaping praise on their scouting system, but is wary of the threats the Manuel Marquez-led side possesses, and has a blueprint to tackle them.

The Mariners' head coach addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference ahead of their clash against Hyderabad FC.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

ATK Mohun Bagan got quite a few corners in the previous game but failed to convert from those. Any special stress on such set-piece situations ahead of the upcoming game?

No, I think it's not necessarily. Of course, we did not get any success, but it is not the time to put focus on only one detail in football. In football, you have to focus on a lot of details. Sometimes, you succeed, sometimes you do not. It is difficult to put stress on a particular detail when you don’t have (enough) training sessions and play a lot of games in a short time.

The goals dried up in the past few matches. How do you look to address the issue?

You know, this is football. Sometimes the reason is due to the tactical plan. We try to find solutions about this. Sometimes, we lacked in a few moments. That is a part of football.

Playing against Hyderabad FC in the semi-finals, what are the threats that your team might face?

We’ll play against a very good team, we will play against a very good squad. Hyderabad FC come to the semi-final after an amazing 20 games this season. They will play without pressure, they would want to enjoy the playoff. They want to enjoy, they want to win, they have had a perfect season.

Apart from the experienced players, young Indian players like Aniket Jadhav, Ashish Rai, Akash Mishra and Rohit Danu are all playing well. How do you rate Hyderabad FC’s Indian contingent?

Yeah. Not only for what they’ve achieved, but you know, they've improved a lot, but I think it's very important to talk about the scouts in Hyderabad FC, because they tried to find good players. They know about the performance, the performance of these players of course, and the coaching staff and culture, working a lot with the younger players at the end, and this was the result. It's the same for us, working with players like Sumit (Rathi), it is necessary to work with them because they have talent. In the end, the most important thing is to help them (improve) day by day, training by training.

Bartholomew Ogbeche has been Hyderabad FC’s best striker this season. How do you plan to tackle him?

I've got a plan and it's not possible to explain all this. But it is important to believe in ourselves, to keep the ball for us, to try and find the spaces, to try and play attacking football. This is the best plan against Hyderabad FC.

How did you motivate the players after the defeat in the last game, especially after missing out the opportunity to claim the League Winners’ Shield?

It is so easy explaining all the time that - the past is past. That is finished. Okay. We can learn some details, but this is the past, it is not possible to change. In front of us, it is a little bit of a challenge in the semi-final and hopefully the final. With the AFC Cup being in front of us, we have a good future for the club.

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