ATK Mohun Bagan midfielder Hugo Boumous dedicated his goal to the supporters as the ATKMB beat East Bengal FC 2-0 in the first Kolkata derby of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season.

In what was the first Kolkata derby in front of fans in the Hero ISL, ATK Mohun Bagan got the better of their rivals with the help of second-half goals from Boumous and Manvir Singh. The win ensured that the Mariners won their fifth successive Kolkata Derby in the Hero ISL, and Boumous was a happy man.

Here are the excerpts from his post-match press conference:

Your thoughts on the win?

It’s a great win for us. We need to enjoy this night and then, we need to recover properly and get a good day off. As the coach said, we need to clear our minds. And then from the start of the week, work again. This win is good for our confidence as we have three more points in the bag. But we have to do better than tonight and do more than we did if we want to get the three points away against Mumbai City FC.

You scored from a distance, did you practice it earlier and planned on it or you saw the space in front of you and went for it?

Yes, I saw that there was no one in front of me, so I decided to dribble as I saw I was free and I could take my chance. I took a good shot in front of the goal and the goalkeeper did not manage to save it. I believe I should try to take chances like this more often during the game as it has happened many times. If I could replicate the same effort, I can score many goals in the season.

Do you think ATK Mohun Bagan need to work more on their decision-making in the attacking third?

As the coach said, we need to improve in a lot of aspects. I believe we have the quality and we have a lot of quality players who represent the national team. We have to work everyday, that's how things are on the professional level, we as a team have to work and improve things because the competition is quite tough in the Hero ISL every season. All the teams are great and you cannot take any team for granted in the league and it doesn't depend on where the team is on the table, you have to play your best. From the last season that the coach has been here, we've managed to play better and good possession style and attacking football but of course, we create many chances and sometimes we fail to convert them be it a shooting opportunity, converting the crosses, or play the decisive final pass so we have to be more clinical, be it offensively or defensively as even today we could have scored more, last game we scored five goals but we lost against Chennayin FC so these mistakes should not be repeated.

Whom would you like to dedicate your goal to?

 I dedicate my goal to the fans. It was great to play in the first Kolkata Derby at home in the Hero ISL. The atmosphere was amazing. I want to give them a huge thanks and I hope to see them again with the stadium fully packed. Not only against East Bengal, but also against the other sides in the Hero ISL.

How is it different playing with Dimitri Petratos compared to David Williams and Roy Krishna?

Roy and David had a completely different profile. Dimi’s profile is a bit like David’s. Of course, Roy is a player who fights for the ball and the duel. With David and Dimi, I could combine more. Dimi has a lot of talent and he has to prove it. It’s great to play with this kind of player because that is the way I enjoy football. Not only Dimi, but also the other players in this team.

You have played against Mumbai City FC in the past and been a part of the team. What is your approach to games like these?

I played there for one season and we had a successful season, winning the Hero ISL title and the League Winners Shield. But for me, it is like any other game. I go on the pitch, I try to enjoy and give the best for the team, get the win and the three points. That’s the most important thing. We are ATK Mohun Bagan and we are a winning team. We want to win the game and win the league. It’s easy to say this, but importantly, we need to work hard and work together and ensure that we do not make many mistakes in order to achieve our goals.

How does it feel to score at the VYBK?

It’s an amazing feeling to score this goal. I haven’t scored for a while in front of 62,000 people. This was the first derby at home in this amazing stadium (after two seasons). I thank all the supporters in Kolkata, they had a huge contribution in our success. Most importantly, we are happy for the win. I was lucky enough to score and it is always important to contribute to the success of the team but for me, goals or assists are not that important. My goal is to work for the team and contribute to the success of the team. I am not chasing any awards. I have to work hard on the pitch, enjoy, play quality football, help my teammates and give back to the fans.