We need to be more confident in front of goal: ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando
Juan Ferrando urged his ATK Mohun Bagan side to be clinical as they lock horns with Bengaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Sunday.
ATK Mohun Bagan return to action after a break of seven days following a comfortable 2-0 win over Odisha FC in Matchweek 17. The Mariners are placed fourth in the Hero ISL table and will look to continue their winning run and strengthen their position in the top six.
ATK Mohun Bagan secured all three points in the reverse fixture, thanks to Dimitri Petratos’ strike. They will be hoping to do the same in Kolkata.
“This game is of course very important for us,” Ferrando said in the official pre-match press conference.
On the other hand, Bengaluru FC will be aiming to maintain their impressive four-game winning run and register their first win against ATK Mohun Bagan this season. Ferrando admitted the opponents are in better shape this time, but insisted his strategy will remain the same.
“Bengaluru FC are in a good position after four wins. This game will also be very important for them to qualify for the playoffs,” stated Ferrando.
“But our aim will be to get all the three points as we are playing in our home,” he added.
ATK Mohun Bagan will be without their talisman Hugo Boumous and winger Ashique Kuruniyan, with both players missing out due to a suspension. However, Ferrando admitted that injuries and suspensions are both part of the game and stated that he is preparing for the game with the players available.
“We got six days to prepare for this game. This season has been very difficult for us due to injuries to several players. But I’m happy with the players I have. The players know the importance of three points from this game,” said Ferrando.
With a game in hand, ATK Mohun Bagan are one point behind third-placed Kerala Blasters FC in the Hero ISL standings. The Mariners have struggled to score goals this season, scoring 19 goals across 15 games, but Ferrando believes they can change things in their favour with hard work and with confidence in front of the goal.
“Our players have faced difficulties in front of the opponent goalkeeper (this season). It’s a part of football, but we need to be more confident in front of goal,” Ferrando stated.
Raring to go tomorrow! 💪⚡️#ATKMohunBagan #JoyMohunBagan #আমরাসবুজমেরুন pic.twitter.com/GINlrmSxSp— ATK Mohun Bagan FC (@atkmohunbaganfc) February 4, 2023
ATK Mohun Bagan will be up against a familiar face in Roy Krishna. The former ATKMB striker has scored three goals and provided four assists this season. He has been instrumental for his side in recent games and will be eager to score against his former side. Ferrando claimed their focus will be on controlling the transition of the game and not on any individual player.
“Football is about individual players. If my players work like a team, then I will be not scared about any individual player,” said the head coach.
Vishal Kaith, the 26-year-old goalkeeper accompanied head coach Ferrando in the pre-match press conference ahead of their clash against Bengaluru FC. The custodian, who joined the Mariners from Chennaiyin FC ahead of the Hero ISL season, has regained his form at his new club. Kaith has kept a joint-tally of seven clean sheets this season alongside Mumbai City FC’s Phurba Lachenpa.
“Last season was very difficult for me. Last season was difficult for me. In football, sometimes you play well, sometimes badly. But this time with ATK Mohun Bagan, the coach and players are supporting me very much. I'm getting my confidence back,” said Kaith.
Kaith, who has only conceded three goals in his last nine appearances, is confident of keeping his eighth clean sheet of the season on Sunday.
“We always try to win the game and keep a clean sheet. We aim to concede as less as possible,” he concluded.