We played like a team against Bashundhara Kings: ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando was delighted for his players after they eased past Bashundhara Kings 4-0 in the Group D encounter of the AFC Cup at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata on Saturday.
The Mariners were stunned 2-4 by Gokulam Kerala in their first match of the campaign but produced a fine response on Saturday to keep their hopes of qualifying for the next stage very much alive.
Liston Colaco netted a hat-trick for ATK Mohun Bagan as Juan Ferrando’s men looked much like the team that had finished third in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season.
Ferrando spoke to the media after the match.
Here are the excerpts from the post-match press conference:
What do you make of the turnaround today? It was a brilliant result for your team
I think Bashundhara Kings are a good team and they have good players. I'm happy that supporters enjoyed the match today. The break was good for us as the team wasn't doing well in the first ten minutes. I think after 2-0, the team played well. I'm happy because these players read a lot of negative comments in the last two days. I'm happy for them for this result because they are good players, a good team and good persons.
What was the difference between the performance in the first game and the performance against Bashundhara Kings?
I think it was a very difficult game. The team enjoyed the space they had. I think in the last match, our emotions in the second half were not so good. The players today worked like a team. They supported each other. This is more important for me. The supporters were great, They stayed back and supported us. Even after they storm, they stayed in the stands. It's fantastic. It made me think that this is our moment.
What was the reason behind choosing Roy Krishna as a captain?
We play a lot of games in a short period of time. There are two reasons. First is good recovery and second is to put trust on some players and make changes in certain positions. I trust all 26 players in my squad. Everybody can help the team. My job is to try to help them find their best moment and thereby help the team. In the last game we had one line-up, this game we had another one. Against Maziya, we will have different line-up. Roy is the captain but inside the dressing room there are 26 captains. Inside the dressing room the responsibility is the same for all players. Pritam is a top leader. Today you saw Sandesh Jhingan and he was a leader but he was not the captain in front of the referee but on the pitch. I'm happy for this.
You made a change in goal and Amrinder Singh wasn't even on the bench. What were your thoughts behind it?
I have three very good goalkeepers. They are all working very hard. We decided to change the goalkeeper because the games are very close and you saw what happened in the last game and I felt it was the best decision to change a few positions to have an impact and have a reaction. After the last match it was impossible to prepare a plan and work so it was necessary to help the team. It's not because I'm disappointed with Amrinder. He is a very good goalkeeper. We just had this idea and went with it.
What is your opinion of Liston Colaco? Is he the future of Indian football?
For us, it's not just important for him to improve individually but for him to improve in the same line as the team. Everyone knows he has a lot of positive things, He is working hard and of course he has a lot of talent. But for me, it's important that he uses that talent to help the team. That's the first thing. He has a lot of time ahead of him. A player reaches his peak at 26 or 27. He has an amazing future ahead of him but for me he must not forget the way he has worked for the last six months with me. My target is also to help him in his career.
Last few days the Bashundhara Kings coach made some comments against your team. Did that serve as a big motivation for the result?
For me, we are in an international competition. The football is amazing and so is fair play. Respect is very important. So, when I read some news, I prefer to not talk. Today, the players did the talking on the pitch and this is best thing.
You mentioned that all 26 players in the squad are equal for you. But do you think you are a better team with Joni Kauko in the side?
The players are working hard every training session. These performances of Liston and Joni is the result of that. Same for Williams and Roy. Roy didn't score today but his performance is perfect for a player in his position. They are working hard, trying to do their job. The end result is a good performance. It's amazing to help them because they are working a lot. They never give any excuse about the pitch or the result. In the end, it's about the good performance. Of course, as I mentioned, for me, it's not just important to improve the performance of the player but also to improve the team. Joni is very important to improve the team. Joni is good but with the team around him, he is much better. It's difficult for the coaching staff to help all the players in the same moment.