It was difficult for the players to play under such pressure: ATKMB head coach Juan Ferrando

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando was elated with the atmosphere at the JLN Stadium in Kochi and appreciated his players’ five-star performance as his side clinched a 5-2 win against Kerala Blasters FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match in Kochi on Sunday.

The Blasters’ Ukrainian midfielder Ivan Kaliuzhnyi opened the scoring within the opening five minutes and set the field on fire but the Mariners mounted an impressive comeback with a hat-trick from Dimitri Petratos and a goal each from Joni Kauko and Lenny Rodrigues while Rahul KP scored a consolation goal.

Report: Petratos hat-trick stuns Kochi as ATK Mohun Bagan win seven-goal epic

With this result, ATK Mohun Bagan keep their unbeaten streak against Kerala Blasters intact, winning the contest four times out of five.

Ferrando stated that the atmosphere at Kochi was a proper footballing atmosphere and his team did a massive job by bringing home the three points after playing under such an intense atmosphere and pressure.

The Spaniard attended the official post-match press conference after his side’s victory over Kerala Blasters FC.

Here are the excerpts from his press conference:

It’s a huge win for your team at the JLN Stadium in Kochi. What are your initial thoughts on the match? How do you think your team fared?

Honestly, it’s good to play here. It’s amazing, the atmosphere here speaks football. (I saw) a lot of supporters before the match who were coming to the stadium, all were in yellow shirts, it was amazing. But, it’s difficult for the players to play here because the crowd is massive and there’s maximum pressure, and the players need to (learn) to work under pressure. I think this point is very important for the players to improve, (especially) in this situation because this is normal football. I think it is necessary to work under pressure because this is what football is all about, here or in Europe or anywhere else. I’m happy with the character of the team after 10-15 minutes.

Is this the perfect time to get back in form, keeping in mind there’s Kolkata derby coming up?

You know, I explain it every time, each match is different. In the Hero ISL, it is totally different. You had two-three good scores, which means you are the better performer, you are more motivated, but here the possibilities can change everything. For us, the most important thing is to focus on ourselves, to continue working because we are in process, and with this team we need to find the details in transitions, and improve in other details. Of course, for us, it’s a pleasure to play the Kolkata derby because it is an important match and an important game for our supporters, for all of Kolkata, and I hope the team will be ready for this match.

How relieved are you tonight?

Honestly, I’m thinking of watching the score of Real Madrid vs Barcelona, this is the first step. Second point is to prepare for the game against East Bengal because in two weeks it is an important match for us.

You had a lot of duels on the left side especially through Khabra (Harmanjyot) and Hormipam (Ruivah), Liston (Colaco) had a lot of runs behind them. So, was there any area you looked to exploit before the game?

Yes. If you watched the starting lineup, we played with a single player in the left side because we knew Sahal was playing a bit on the side and the rest of the space was free. I thought with this much free space, Liston could attack much better. Honestly, the problem was that the team was not comfortable because I played Brendan (Hamill) as left centre-back, even Tangri (Deepak) was close, and centre-backs then mixed between a lot of spaces to make way for Liston and Ashique.

This is the reason the first 10-12 minutes for us was very difficult. In the build-up, in the second part of the attack, after around 20 minutes, when Joni (Kauko) was up close with Boumous (Hugo), we found spaces and it was easier for us to attack. The team was much better and I’m happy for these things because it is necessary to prepare as per the plan but also to change some details minute by minute.                    

Your Comments

Hiii