ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando rued his side’s missed opportunities as ATKMB went down against Chennaiyin FC in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season opener at the Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata, on Monday.

The Mariners broke the deadlock through a Manvir Singh, but it was short-lived as the Marina Machans struck back through a penalty from Kwame Karikari, who later on provided the assist for Rahim Ali’s winning goal.

Chennaiyin FC come from behind to stun ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata

Ferrando backed his players to fight back harder in the upcoming games while maintaining a lack of confidence and a series of missed chances as the cause for the loss.

Here are the excerpts of his press conference:

An opening day defeat to Chennaiyin FC at home. How do you view the results of this match?

When the team conceded the goals, the players at those moments lost confidence leading to misplaced passes, missing opportunities. And on such occasions it is important to tell them that it is okay and this is football, there are these moments that will happen but it is necessary to react and find the solution. It is not that hard to change the situation because we could’ve been better at marking, creating chances, and finding spaces.

Ashique Kuruniyan made some brilliant moves down the left flank but there was no end product to his crosses. What is your take on the missed chances in the first half?

When we miss the chances, this is a recurring problem. When we have 5-6 chances, it is necessary to put three of them in the goal, and in this match we faced a huge problem in doing that. This is the reality, we have chances, we finish the play, the team uses the space, creates the space, but then the opponent wins a penalty, and then scores. It is necessary to keep going and keep working.

Did your team lose the match because your players could not follow the plan?

If the players don’t follow my plan, then it is not necessary to miss such chances. I think this is not the question, to talk about the players and blame them for the loss. I have trust in my players and in the squad. Of course, they are not here at the moment, but my job is to support them and find a solution for my team.

But the question about players not following the plan is just extra things, they are professionals. We work in the same way for 6-7 months, we have meetings every week, and the players give their best in every training and every match.

If you see their faces after this match, they are not happy, they are very disappointed. They are more upset than what I’m speaking about. There is no problem with the plan, no problem about the difference in things. The problem is that the connection (on the pitch) is loose and sometimes the psychological situation is not good.

What was the turning point of the match that made your team lose against Chennaiyin FC?

After the penalty, things took a different mode for the players as the mentality changed, the players started to lose confidence, it was necessary to change (the style of play), try something different, support them. Sometimes, it is necessary to change, this situation is definitely not good for them, and 100% there will be changes in the mentality.