Juan Ferrando on ATK Mohun Bagan’s injuries and transfer plans

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando revealed that the club is trying to find replacements for the injured foreign players of their squad in the ongoing transfer window of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL).

The Mariners are placed third in the Hero ISL table after nine games, three points behind league leaders Hyderabad FC, who have played one game more. The Mariners’ squad has been hit by injury this season with plenty of key faces missing out on action.

Centre-back Tiri was ruled out for Hero ISL 2022-23 after sustaining a knee injury during the group stages of the AFC Cup 2022. Centre-back Florentin Pogba, who signed for the club during the summer, featured for ATKMB in the Durand Cup 2022 but picked up an injury and is yet to feature this Hero ISL season. Midfielder Joni Kauko, who was one of the club’s important players last season, is also set to miss a major chunk of the ongoing season due to a knee injury that he picked up in November.

Forward Manvir Singh, who is ATK Mohun Bagan’s leading Indian goalscorer this season with two goals has also missed their previous three matches. Talking about the injury status of his team ahead of their fixture against Odisha FC, Ferrando said: “(Florentin) Pogba underwent a surgery last Wednesday. Tiri is working on his recovery. Everyone knows about Joni Kauko. These three players are out and the rest are working with the physios, doctors and we will see if it’s possible (for them to play a part) on Thursday. Manvir Singh is working with the physios and the doctors and we will see. We will make the decision at the last moment on Thursday."

Ferrando revealed that the club should likely finalise the replacement for his injured foreign players in the coming days, but that it has not been an easy process.

“Yes, the club is working on this situation,” he stated. “We are working to find the best players for these positions. Of course, it’s not easy because the quality of Pogba, Tiri and Kauko is at a high level. It’s difficult to find players of the same level as them. But, the club is working hard and I'm happy because in the coming days we will find good players with quality. And the most important thing is they come back to support and help the team.”

Ferrando further mentioned he has put forward a few names that he would like the club to sign and that he has been working closely with the club officials.

“The club knows my point of view. We are working very closely with the staff and we report to the club which players are necessary. The club is working hard and I’m happy because they are trying to get these players,” Ferrando added.

ATK Mohun Bagan currently sit third in the Hero ISL standings and travel to Bhubaneshwar to face Odisha FC on Thursday. A win against the Kalinga Warriors will see them leapfrog leaders Hyderabad FC and take the top spot on the table.

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