We need more confidence in front of goal: ATK Mohun Bagan’s Juan Ferrando
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando has pledged full support to his misfiring forward line as the team is struggling to score goals leading to them dropping crucial points in the race for the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs.
The Spaniard believes his team must work hard on the training pitch to improve their goal output and feels it’s a matter of time before the goals will come.
“Our problem is not that we don't create chances. We are creating chances. In such cases when we aren't converting them, our solution is to help the players because their emotional state for them is difficult. It is possible to change this situation and it's important to support the players. We need more confidence when we are inside the box,” Ferrando said during the pre-match press conference ahead of the Odisha FC match.
The 42-year-old also refused to put blame on a single player and feels it’s the team’s collective responsibility to deliver goals.
“We can't be dependent on one single player. If we depend on one player, it's a big problem for the team,” Ferrando said.
“We have had chances fall to different players in the last few matches and it's a good thing. Of course, it's important to improve these details. But we can't be dependent on one No 9 or one No 10 or one No 6. Football is played 11 vs 11 and it's important for all the players to take responsibility,” he added.
ATK Mohun Bagan have won only 50% of the matches this season and it’s not been enough to keep pace with the unbeaten league leaders Mumbai City FC who sit 15 points ahead having played a game more.
Ferrando admitted that the team is disappointed with the failure to pick up three points but remain keen to finish the season strongly.
“We are very disappointed when we don't get three points and we are not winning matches. This club has a big mentality and wants to win every match,” the Spaniard said.
“But we focus on the present, work hard and try to do the best for us and our supporters. For us there are two options after a bad result, one is to cry and the other is to work and we choose the second way,” he added.
The Mariners face a fellow top six competitor in Odisha FC on Saturday and the 42-year-old feels it will be a very difficult test for his team.
“It's an important match for us and our aim is the same to get the three points. It's a good opportunity for us to show character and play well because we face a very good team. Odisha FC in my opinion will be in the top six because they have good players and experienced players like Diego Mauricio, Saul Crespo, and Pedro Martin, so definitely it’s a big match on Saturday,” Ferrando said.
Injuries haven’t been kind to the Mariners this season with midfielder Joni Kauko and defender Florentin Pogba being ruled out of the campaign. The Kolkata giants though have brought in replacements in form of creative midfielder Federico Gallego, defender Slavko Damjanovic and defensive midfielders Puitea and Glan Martins.
Ferrando, though, believes that the new players need time to get used to new surroundings before being thrown into the thick of things.
“Gallego and Puitea have only recently joined the team. They are trying to learn our philosophy. They are learning in training about where the spaces are, when is it necessary for them to defend and when to attack. They are improving a lot and are understanding the concepts day by day,” he said.
As for Martins, his move from FC Goa saw him return to the club he had left to join the Gaurs and the midfielder is excited to play for a club with a great legacy again.
“I'm really excited to be back here. Everyone knows the legacy of this club. So, I'm just here to give my best and I will try to give my 100% in every match,” he said.
“It's always difficult for a player to join a team mid-season. But I know the philosophy of the coach and how he wants to play. So, I think I can gel well with the team and I have been here before so I know most of the teammates. I have also played with them in the Indian national team, so I think it will be much easier for me,” he concluded.