Target is to keep performing at the same level: ATK Mohun Bagan's Juan Ferrando

ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando appreciates the quality and consistency of his next opponents in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 where they will take on an in-form Hyderabad FC at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday.

The 41-year-old also mentioned how the best sides in the league also face tough times and wants his team to keep working hard and perform at the same level in every match.

The Spaniard wants to forget the past and focus on the next match to get the three points in front of the home support. He was accompanied by team midfielder Hugo Boumous in the official pre match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Juan Ferrando’s press conference:

You had a few days to prepare for the upcoming match. How do you see into that? What are the changes you want to see in the next match?

Ferrando: I know the match on Saturday is important and we are thinking about the present and about the next match.

After FC Goa, everyone was disappointed with the performance but it was five days ago and the most important thing is that our mind is focused on Saturday. The opportunity to win three points and that will be our target. We will be ready.

There is news that Joni Kauko is out for the season. What is your update on that?

Ferrando: This is a part of football and it is very disappointing. In the last season of Hero ISL it happened with Avilash Paul, this time it has happened with Joni Kauko.

It is really worrying for us because he is a very important player but this moment gives us the chance to work and keep going. I am happy because this squad is strong, we have very good and talented players. This is our moment to work together without Joni Kauko but we will keep going and continue to work.

In the context of the league race, do you think that the match against Hyderabad FC will be of huge importance?

Ferrando: The most important thing is to think about ourselves and not about how the league is continuing. It is an important match, we want to win three points and our opportunity to play at our home ground.

Hyderabad FC have been scoring less this season. Do you think ATK Mohun Bagan will be favourites to win in front of the home fans?

Ferrando: In the case of Hyderabad FC, it is clear that they have been working with the same plan for years. They have the same lineup and spine of the team and they trust this way of working. First few seasons were a test for them but they came good in the following seasons. It is time to accept that they are a very good team as they have a set plan and have success at this moment.

The performance of my team is most important to me.

Your team is one of the best in the Hero ISL. Do you think consistency is the problem?

Ferrando: You have to understand the emotions and feelings in the dressing room because in football it is necessary to control the tactical, technical and the emotional side of the game.

Sometimes we might have success, sometimes they perform badly. We are happy when the moments are good and try to press and support them when the team does not have success.

We know we have a great squad but in football the best teams are under pressure but this team can improve everyday. Our target is to keep performing at the same level in every match. I trust the players, the club and I know the team will perform at the same level against Hyderabad FC.

Last season you lost against Hyderabad FC. Do you think revenge is the key word when you prepare your team this time?

Ferrando: In the last season against Hyderabad FC we played four times. We were unlucky in the semi final but the performance of the team was quite good.

That was the last season, on Saturday it will be a new match and will be totally different. I hope we get the three points because it is very important for us. I also hope the performance will be better than last week. This is what I focus on and the past must be forgotten as it is not possible to change anything.

What is the injury status of your team?

Ferrando: Joni Kauko and Florentin Pogba are injured. Pronay Halder has started training with us since this week and the rest of the players are doing well.

I am happy that more or less everybody is ready to help the team as it is not easy to travel and play.

Here are the excerpts from Hugo Boumous’ press conference:

We have not seen the best from you so far in this season. Do you think you need to improve going forward especially in the absence of Joni Kauko?

Boumous: It is a big loss for the team, Joni being out. I wish him a good recovery as he is a very important player on and off the pitch.

I will have to perform well as much as possible because Joni Kauko was a creative player and I am ready to take the responsibility on the pitch and my teammates will help me to achieve our goals and get the three points.

Hyderabad FC are currently the league leaders. How excited are you to face them? What are your thoughts on Saturday’s opponents?

Boumous: They are a very good team and had a great season last year. They have been progressing since the last couple of seasons with the same bunch of players with a lot of experience, they are the most balanced team in the league and one of the favourites.

They lost the last game and would not be 100% confident, so we have to be at our best, and with the quality we have in the squad, we can get the three points.

Do you think the last match was the biggest lesson and one of the most difficult matches?

Boumous: It was a tough loss for us. It is difficult to lose after trailing against the opponent, for our confidence and it is hard as sometimes you feel clueless during the time of the game when you cannot manage to create anything. FC Goa played very well, both tactically and defensively, which made it difficult for us.

We could not coordinate together, and we put in a lot of effort and committed a lot of fouls. When we tried to recover the ball, we were very tired from pressing and keeping the ball for the team. Sometimes it happens in football, it is a lesson and we have to learn from the game, but it was not a good performance from our team, and on Saturday we will have a new opportunity to stick together as an unit, show the quality of the team, and be at our best to get a result against Hyderabad FC.

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