Mohun Bagan Super Giant head coach Juan Ferrando is expecting a difficult game as his team gear up for their first away match in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season against Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.

The Mariners are off to a flying start to the new season as they have secured back-to-back victories, scoring four times and conceding just once in the process. They have displayed relentless attacking football in both matches. 

Ferrando said that playing away from home will be tough against Chennaiyin FC considering their results of the teams that have played away from home this season.

“This season we have seen that the teams who played at home won the matches and the teams who played away (from home) found it difficult to win points. This is the first time that Chennaiyin FC play at home this season. So we need to control a lot of things because Chennaiyin FC is a very ambitious club," Ferrando said in the pre-match press conference. 

Mohun Bagan SG have significantly strengthened their squad during the summer, making some notable Indian and foreign signings. The Spaniard discussed the importance of finding the perfect balance within the squad going forward in the league. 

"The most important thing in this stage is to find the best squad. For us, it is important to think in the present. We will see who is in the best form to help the team in the next match. It is not only about the physical condition but also about the mental condition and also about the players who will be ready and try to do the best and stay motivated in (for) these types of matches," Ferrando said. 

Speaking on his team's tactical system and his players adjusting to his system, the Spaniard reiterated that he does not feel that the systems are as important as the players making the correct decisions on the pitch to find spaces in attack and close down spaces in defence. 

"The systems are not very important for me. The most important is for the players to take good decisions on the pitch and find spaces. The players need to know where is the space to play in attack and where is the space to close in the defence," he said.

"Sometimes we change some things to improve, sometimes it is necessary to change the plan. It depends on the moment of the match and the opponent. If you have one plan and it is necessary to change, we change the plan. When we play at home we try to push the opponent because we want to win. Here, our plan is the same, to try to score goals and win the match and get the three points necessary to push (dominate) the opponent," he further said. 

Mohun Bagan Super Giant midfielder Anirudh Thapa accompanied head coach Juan Ferrando in the pre-match press conference. Speaking on his connection with his former team and playing against them for the first time, Thapa said that Chennaiyin FC are a good team and it will be a difficult game to play. 

"I've been there with them (Chennaiyin FC) the past seven years and it will be the first time that I will be playing on the other side so it will be different for me. However I know that I am now a Mohun Bagan player and I know what the team needs and what we are going for in Chennai. They are a good side. They have been playing two away games. They have a good squad and an excellent coach and it is their first home game in front of their fans and I think they will be aggressive because they want that win. For us it will be a difficult match and everyone knows what we need to do and I think it will be a difficult match for everyone," he stated. 

Thapa is among the few players from the Indian national team to have joined Mohun Bagan SG this summer, besides Sahal Abdul Samad and Anwar Ali. He feels he has already settled in at his new club. 

"I've adjusted well because of the players. It was easy for me to adjust and gel with them. They have made me feel comfortable and I think that is one of the most important things for me too, to get involved with the team so that helped me a lot. We have many matches coming up so yes slowly and steadily we will get there," he said. 

Speaking on the role that Ferrando has given Thapa in the team, the midfielder said that he is happy to play in whichever position the coach decides to play him in. 

"It depends on the coach wherever he wants me to play, I am ready. It doesn't matter. I am ready to help the team. So I do not think that it really matters where I play," Thapa revealed.