Not about the way you win matches, but three points: ATK Mohun Bagan's Ferrando

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando felt that his team found it hard to create spaces in attack, but was satisfied with the three points as the Mariners got the better of Jamshedpur FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Thursday. Hugo Boumous converted from the spot in injury time to hand ATK Mohun Bagan their third win on the trot. The result sees ATKMB leapfrong Odisha FC into third place, with the latter having a game in hand. 

Ferrando, speaking at the post-match press conference, said it was difficult for his team to find spaces in the attacking third during the opening half and felt his side improved on that aspect in the second half although Jamshedpur FC kept things tight at the back. 

Looking at the result, the Spaniard said the three points matter to him and he lauded the character of his team, who have been affected by injuries. Ferrando further stated that his main target was to finish on top of the Hero ISL standings, but that it will be difficult catching up with the other teams placed above them.

Here are the excerpts from Ferrando's press conference: 

Are you satisfied with the team's performance? 

Not at all. We did not play well in the first half. Their situation was difficult and we played with the foreign players - Carl (McHugh) and Dimitri (Petratos), who were playing with some problems. The last two days in training were difficult for them and we had only one fully-fit foreign player (Boumous). Manvir (Singh), (Florentin) Pogba and (Joni) Kauko are out due to injuries so it has been difficult for the team to train in the last few days because we need maximum time to prepare for the matches. But that’s not an excuse. We tried to find the best system to help the team and find the spaces. In the first half, we couldn’t find the spaces and we misplaced easy passes. Maybe, we were under pressure or the mentality was not good.

But in the second half the team was much better. They controlled the spaces, the time and in case, Jamshedpur FC had only one chance in the last minute. But in the final third, it was difficult to find the spaces and maybe because Eli Sabia and Peter Hartley have good experience as centre-backs and they controlled the spaces.

How difficult is it to cope up with this situation as you are facing injury problems?

It’s difficult because it’s not possible to prepare the team all the time. You have 22-23 players in a squad to prepare the matches and when you have 12-15 players it becomes difficult. But in this case, it’s necessary to talk about the character of the players. They showed the personality to control the spaces in difficult moments and continue working in the build up. This is our mentality and we won't change that. When the situation is not good, you have to continue working.

Three clean sheets in a row and with results of 1-0. Are you worried that your team hasn’t been able to score more goals?

In the end, it’s three points. It’s not about the way you win matches, but the three points. For me the problem is if our opponents create chances. In our case, we did create many clear chances except for two-three occasions. The rest of the match, it was difficult to find spaces. For Jamshedpur FC, after the substitution of Rafael (Crivellaro), they couldn’t create many opportunities and the normal score would have been 0-0.

But it’s good when the team continues to play in attack, trying to find the spaces. We have not had much success and this is the truth. We know the points that we have to improve on. In the end, (to have) three wins is difficult. In this league, except for Mumbai City FC and Hyderabad FC until Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa, the difference between points is very minimal and very close. It’s normal that at the end of matches the results are 1-0 or 0-0. Except Mumbai City FC, who have registered some big wins, the matches have been close.

Do you think Liston Colaco is lacking confidence in front of goal?

When the players are putting up good performances, our job is to support them to continue working, because it’s normal. In this case (with Liston), sometimes he performs well and has success, sometimes not. Our job now is to support him and find the best position for him. Step by step, his confidence will be much better and we will see the best (out of) Liston.

In my point of view, it’s very difficult (to catch up with the other teams at the top). Mumbai City FC, Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC are battling for the top positions and then there is another group of teams. Our target is to prepare and win every match. I hope at the end of the season we will be on top of the table. This is our dream. But it’s now important to focus on Odisha FC, because it will be a difficult match because their performances have been amazing.

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