If we keep working hard, we will eventually taste success: ATK Mohun Bagan’s Juan Ferrando

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando says he has complete faith in his players despite the defeat in their first match of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season against Chennaiyin FC which they lost 1-2. 

The Mariners have had an indifferent start to the season with premature exits in the AFC Cup and the Durand Cup campaigns but the Spaniard believes his team which is full of talent will eventually come good. 

Ferrando's task doesn't get any easier as he takes his ATK Mohun Bagan side to Kochi to face Kerala Blasters FC who beat their city rivals East Bengal FC 3-1 in the opening encounter. 

The Spaniard along with midfielder Ashique Kuruniyan spoke to the media ahead of the match against Kerala Blasters FC. 

Here are the excerpts from Ferrando's pre-match press conference: 

Kerala Blasters FC beat East Bengal FC in the first match. They will be playing at home again this time. How do you see this match for your team?

I think it's an important match for both teams. I think it's good for Indian football because the atmosphere here (in Kochi) is amazing. For us, it's an important match because we have come here to get three points. It will be the same as Kerala Blasters FC and I hope it will be an amazing match.

In your last match, you led by a goal in the first half but lost the match late on. Now you face Kerala Blasters FC. So what will be your game plan against Kerala Blasters FC?

It's a championship in front of us of 20 matches. Every match is crucial for us because there are three points on offer. We are ready to come here, execute our plan and get the three points. This is the most important thing. The past is not important. The only thing that is important is the present. For us, it's a new challenge and a new opportunity on Sunday.

Your team lost an important striker like Roy Krishna. Is it affecting your game plan?

Football is a game where you have to create space and use the space to create opportunities. It’s not important to me who scores the goals. The team has been creating chances but we are missing those chances. I have 100% trust in this squad and I hope we have more success against the opponent's goalkeeper. But I think the most important thing is to focus on the squad.

Your team was excellent in all the parameters and statistics in your last game against Chennaiyin FC. So how do you assess that loss?

At this moment, we are disappointed but this is the life of footballers. When you lose or when you win the matches, the important question for the staff is why did we win or why did we lose? In my view, we lost because, in front of the opponent, we were not clear with our details and then sometimes the emotional side of the footballers kicks in. When you are not winning, you get scared or are afraid. This is the reason. But in this case, I trust this team. This team is in the process of growing up and is full of talent. If we keep working every day, we will surely have success. It's the same in life and in football.

Florentin Pogba didn't start the last match. He is one of your captains. Is he having any problems settling in?

I have six foreign players. It's the same case with Kerala Blasters FC. We decide on the foreign players in the starting XI depending on the match, and the opponent. Our point of view is to improve the team. This is the situation. I am happy with all the foreign players. The most important thing is that everyone is ready to help the team. Then, of course, it's necessary to take the decision but maybe in the case of Pogba, he doesn't play in the first few matches and then plays all the final matches. This depends on the plan.

Here are the excerpts from Kuruniyan's press conference:

Earlier, you had spoken about not being afraid of a big crowd. How do you think it affects other players to play in front of such a large fan base?

It is the dream of every football player to play in front of a big crowd of fans. That is what any player enjoys the most. Whether it's an away match or a home match, it's football. I dont know about others, but I like that.

You will probably be up against Harmanjyot Khabra in the game. How do you hope to put your skills to good use against your opponents tomorrow?

I don't know whether I will play against Kerala Blasters FC or not. That is the coach's decision. It seems better to pay more attention to my game than looking at the opponent's. Every player has their own unique style. I care about my style.

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