We can’t underestimate Sri Lanka's Blue Star FC: ATK Mohun Bagan’s Juan Ferrando ahead of AFC Cup

India footballing giants, ATK Mohun Bagan’s head coach, Juan Ferrando has opened up on their upcoming AFC Cup playoff match against Sri Lanka's Blue Star FC on April 12 – revealing that his group can’t underestimate their opponents.

The Spaniard said, “There is no reason to underestimate Sri Lanka's Blue Star. The passing of the team is very good. Sometimes the team plays pressing football. After playing slow football for a while, the team suddenly starts to attack. And that creates the chances of the goals. We have to be careful because the game is ninety minutes long. The fate of the match will be decided within that time."

ATK Mohun Bagan are scheduled to host Blue Star in the second preliminary round of the AFC Cup in the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on April 12 and Ferrando has seen that the Sri Lankan group has the tendency to be direct and exploit the spaces behind the opponents's defence.

The Mariners head coach noted, “The Sri Lankan club is always trying to send the ball over the head of the opposition. Their center-back Chameera’s game is a lot like our Carl McHugh. He is good at defending and also able to increase the correct pass. We have to remember that one of the best clubs of their country is coming to play and we have to play with respect. That's how we are getting ready. "

Last year, Juan Ferrando’s FC Goa ended their AFC Champions League campaign with a third-place finish in the group with three points (three draws). When quizzed if the coach is considering winning the AFC Cup this time around, Ferrando shook his head and asserted, “I believe progress happens match by match. Now only ninety minutes of the Blue Star SC match are in my head. We have to get success at that time.”

The head coach added, “I hope the Mariners will come to watch our game, filling the gallery. The support of the Green Maroon members on the field will inspire us. I promise they will not have to return home disappointed. You can enjoy the joy of football by watching my team’s game.”

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