It's a difficult situation for us because of injuries: ATK Mohun Bagan's Ferrando
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach revealed he was pleased with a point, but not completely happy with the result after his side played out a goalless draw with Odisha FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, on Thursday.
Both sides had their fair share of chances, but couldn’t make the most of their chances in what was the first goalless draw of the season. While ATK Mohun Bagan continue to stay at the third position in the Hero ISL table, Odisha FC move one place above to fourth.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Ferrando expressed how difficult it was for him to field a fully fit starting eleven given the recurring injuries in his squad. The Spaniard further revealed that one defender and one midfielder will join the club in the transfer window as a replacement for the injured players.
Here are the excerpts from Ferrando’s press conference:
How was your experience at the Kalinga Stadium?
It’s my first time here. It’s good to play away and at different places and different stadiums in India. Now life is normal and it’s perfect when you play away as there is pressure and there is more support when you play at home. It’s a good experience. It’s good for the players as well to play in difficult matches away and to feel the atmosphere of the opposition (stadium).
What do you think were the challenges that your team faced against Odisha FC?
It’s a difficult situation for us at the moment because we have a lot of injuries. We have only three foreign players at times and sometimes, we push for four. Also with Indian players, we have had injuries and they are out for one or two months like Manvir (Singh), Engson (Singh). It’s difficult.
Not that I don’t trust in the rest of the players but it’s difficult to prepare for the training sessions. Normally, we have 10-12 players for the training sessions and it’s difficult to work like this. But this is not an excuse and this is part of football. We came here and we know our mentality is to prepare the plan to get three points but honestly, Odisha FC were much better than us in the first 45 minutes. In the second half, we tried to find some spaces but in some transitions, Odisha FC had two or three clear opportunities.
Hugo Boumous was introduced late on. What was the reason?
Because of his injury. He could not move his shoulder. He tried to help the team in the last 10 minutes but it’s a lot of risk. At this moment, if he receives one knock, maybe he is out for the season. It’s the same with Joni Kauko, Florentin Pogba, Manvir Singh and even Engson. Maybe in the next match if we continue in the same level, the coaching staff would have to play in the line up. But this is the reason why we have a lot of young development players in our squad.
Is there any plan to overcome this situation?
In this situation, I need to keep my fingers crossed to finish the problems with the injuries in our squad. We have 27 players in our squad, but we have 15 fit players. We have four players with knee ligament injuries, two players who have ligament (tear) in the ankles and maybe they are out for the season.
We see your team attacking on the front foot, but that was missing today. What was the reason?
Today on the field, we had three players who played with injuries and they are not ready for (physical) contact. In the first half, we used Mohammad Fardin, but he had an injury. He tried to do his best for 45 minutes and then support Kiyan (Nassiri). We played against Odisha FC with seven (outfield) players. The rest three players had physical problems. But it’s not an excuse because Odisha FC were much better. We have big problems and it’s necessary to prepare the plans in this condition. We have five days and I hope more players will be fit next week. But this is the process of football, it’s not possible to do nothing.
Are you happy with the point?
Of course not, our mentality is to get the three points. But in this situation, the team was fighting a lot so I’m happy, but not completely happy because it’s normal (to want three points). All the teams want to get three points and to win, but sometimes, it’s necessary to find the balance for the situation.
Are you looking for new signings?
Of course, we need replacements. The club is working and I hope they (new signings) join us as soon as possible because the team and the club needs these players. The club has been working hard for the last month and I hope if everything is good, they can join us soon. One (vacant) position is of the centre-back and one will be Joni Kauko’s position.