Tonight was for the supporters: ATKMB head coach Juan Ferrando
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando believes his side is gradually learning the process of his style of football and is getting confident with each passing game. The Mariners racked up all three points in an enticing Kolkata derby as they registered a 2-0 victory over city rivals East Bengal FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Saturday.
Hugo Boumous and Manvir Singh were on the scoresheet for ATK Mohun Bagan as the duo managed to find the back of the net in two quick successions in the second half and put their opponents behind till the final minute of the game.
Ferrando acknowledged the fully packed stadium and was grateful for the tumultuous presence of the ATK Mohun Bagan supporters who lit up the atmosphere for the first-ever Hero ISL derby in Kolkata. The Spaniard also added that the three points are important but the team has to keep going and stated that their focus is already on the next game.
Ferrando spoke about his side's performance, his view of the Kolkata derby, and a lot more as he addressed the media in the official post-match press conference.
Here are the excerpts from his press conference:
What is the one point from the match would you like to improve on?
The most important thing for me today was to find free space. Towards the end, the team managed to find free space behind the right back and left back. Of course, we need to improve in transition as it is difficult because the size of the pitch is quite big and it's necessary to change the team's mentality and that has to be accomplished before the next match.
How much will ATK Mohun Bagan celebrate this win?
We are professionals. We are happy but it’s important to not think a lot about the win. Today was the day for our supporters, but we have to prepare for the next match. Three weeks ago, we were not the worst team, and now (after three games), we are not the best team. It’s important for us to keep calm and keep going. From Sunday, we will prepare for Mumbai City FC.
Are you more satisfied that you came out with a clean sheet?
My preference is always the three points. Clean sheets don’t matter, it’s about the three points. What matters more during the season is the points that you have and not the clean sheet. Clean sheets are individual awards. For me and the team, the most important thing is to get three points every game.
For all the domination the team had, and as you said the team was finding the free space behind the fullbacks, do you think decision-making in the final third needs to be improved for all the possession the team manages in the games?
Professional football is proof that it’s hard to create the space and perfect the timing of the move, to work in tight spaces is not easy but I'm happy with the team, everybody is learning our process and I believe with each passing game the team will be more confident.
You started Subhashish Bose instead of Ashique Kuruniyan tonight. What was the reason behind doing so?
When it comes to heavy matches, we need a different plan. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the opposing team, it is important to check whether to use Ashique or Manvir (Singh) as the winger. It is different and differs from match to match, and all these players are professionals and we’ll be needing them for every match. It is fantastic that all the players are ready to help the team. The most important thing is to find the best players at the best moments.
Manvir Singh was on the scoresheet for the team tonight. How important do you think the goal will be for his form and for the team?
The most important thing for me is he’s giving his best effort every day, he tries to be the best player in the training sessions. He knows his position well, he knows the press, he has a lot of things, but of course, you have to work on some points because it’s not so easy. For one number 9 to find spaces between the centre-backs, there is a moment to close down one centre-back, there is a moment to go back into your space.
But I’m happy with him because he is the kind of a player who is ready to work on these things in the training and wants to improve himself. Last season, he worked incredibly hard and his performance was good. Now, his performance is amazing, he’s got much better with spaces, he controls himself during the press, and knows when to make the runs. I hope in my game, he continues to improve because the potential he has is very high and it is not necessary that it will work in the same way.
What is your assessment about Asish Rai?
I am happy about Rai because he is playing. In my point of view, he knows our style, but he needs to improve during the movements of the press. He needs to improve during moments when we need to control the space and when we need to attack. But these details, it’s not so easy and I need to control that training by training. He is trying to understand these concepts. It’s not so easy for him and the rest of the team but I am happy because he tries to perform his best. Of course, he needs to control these details but in my view he is among the top three right-backs in India.