The balance of the match was even: ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando was pleased with a point after his side held Mumbai City FC to a 2-2 draw in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Mumbai Football Arena, in Mumbai, on Sunday.
The match resulted in a draw after the 10-man ATK Mohun Bagan equalized through substitute Carl McHugh in the 89th minute. Ferrando expressed his views about the difficulty of playing away matches and he reiterated the importance of the point they won in their latest fixture of the Hero ISL at the Mumbai Football Arena.
Here are the excerpts from Ferrando’s post-match press conference:
Can you explain about your team attacking more? After the 25th-minute mark, the team started to come back. What changed after that period?
When we played against Mumbai City FC in the Durand Cup, we were able to find spaces behind fullbacks or between the lines of midfield and defense. Now with Greg Stewart, they were able to find spaces much better. We tried to find spaces behind (Sanjeev) Stalin and Rahul (Bheke), this moment it’s necessary to change the plan with build-up. In the first half, the team didn’t perform great, we were not able to create opportunities and find spaces between the players but in the second half, the first 15-20 minutes, the match was crazy. The balance of the match was even, with opportunities for us and opportunities for Mumbai City FC.
You mentioned finding space behind Rahul (Bheke) and (Sanjeev) Stalin. What do you tell your players about how to find solutions?
I think I need to explain the spaces to my players, and where to find them. We come up with a plan but sometimes you have to change things and change some details. It’s easy to change plans when you have talented players and both of the teams, ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC have them.
What do you think about Vishal Kaith's performance? Are you worried about his form?
I trust Vishal and I trust in our goalkeepers. More or less, he has been great for us. I’m happy if my players are performing well, it’s normal to have a good performance and not have a great one in the next match. I’m always telling my players that if they make one mistake or another, it’s okay! These things happen in football. I’m happy for Vishal (Kaith), more or less, he has been great for us, and he has had good performances till now. Maybe he is not a ten, but he is consistent with his performances and he has a bright future.
A tough away match and your team equalized twice. Does this draw feel like a win given the way your team has fought back?
In my point of view, this one point is good because the players were brilliant. We’ll see what happens in the next match. For us, one thing is important, to take points in away matches. It’s not only in India but everywhere, in Europe as well, it’s difficult for teams to win points when they play in away matches. After COVID-19, it’s been difficult for the teams. For me, it’s psychological more than anything else.
The team grew into the game in the second half. Were there any specific loopholes that you saw in the Mumbai City FC team that you wanted to exploit in the second half?
In my point of view, the teams playing on top have different plans to find out solutions and Mumbai City FC is a good team with all of its talented players. They have different plans, for example, if Jorge Pereyra is playing number nine, then they can play Alberto Noguera and they have a lot of talented players like (Lallinzuala) Chhangte and Rahul (Bheke). I think Mumbai City FC is a really compact team and they take good decisions in the field. They can find different solutions to problems and they have that creativity. Sometimes it’s like you’re watching three matches in one so in the case of Mumbai City FC, I think it’s good.