Juan Ferrando ATK Mohun Bagan

“Keep Calm” Says Ferrando After Odisha-Mohun Bagan Draw

Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando was a relieved man after seeing his side earn a point against Odisha FC in their opening game of the season. The Spanish coach, however, felt that the three substitutions due to injuries made it difficult for his side. 

“It’s difficult when you do the necessary substitutions for injuries. This is the reason because when players are ready you can do substitution depending on the performance, depending on that moment if you want to change the plan. 

But when you lose three substitutions for injuries it gets difficult,” the Spaniard continued. “But this is not an excuse it’s a problem for all the teams because of quarantine and no training then you come to play two games in three days, it’s normal.”

Despite Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Odisha, Juan Ferrando, the ATK Mohun Bagan coach, insists that the side has not changed their objective of finishing first in the Indian Super League (ISL) standings.

“The Mariners are presently third in the table with 31 points from 17 matches, behind Hyderabad (35) and Jamshedpur (31), respectively.

There are 11 games left and we have not changed our objective, which is to finish first. The players put in a great effort but sometimes you are forced to make substitutions because of injuries and that can hamper your game plan,” Ferrando said at the post-match press conference.

“But I am happy with the team’s performance and we will continue to work hard,” he added.

The coach also lauded Odisha for their fighting spirit and said they are a difficult side to beat. “They are a very good team, organised and have a lot of quality. It was not easy to play against them and they made it difficult for us,” Ferrando lamented .

“But we are happy with the point and it keeps us in the race for the top spot,” he added.

ATK Mohun Bagan will now travel to Pune to take on FC Pune City on January 23.

ATK Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando insists that the team has not deterred from their target to finish atop the Indian Super League (ISL) standings despite Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Odisha.

ATK Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan FC is a professional Indian football club based in Kolkata, West Bengal. The team competes in the Indian Super League, one of India’s top divisions of football. The association, formed as a combination of the football division of multi-sport club Mohun Bagan AC and ATK FC, began competing in the 2020–21 season as ATK Mohun Bagan FC. The company maintains ties with AIFF and IFA (W.B.) through its historical and cultural significance.

Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan FC is a professional Indian football club based in Kolkata, West Bengal

Dr. Sanjiv Goenka, RPSG Group chairman and Sourav Ganguly, Utsav Parekh, and Mohun Bagan AC are the co-owners of ATK Mohun Bagan. The Kolkata Derby, which is also known as the Mohun Bagan v. Mohun Bagan rivalry, is a fierce rivalry between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, both of whom have been city rivals for decades. The first derby was played on August 8, 1921. Since their inception in the ISL.

The club withdrew from the Calcutta Premier Division in the 2021–22 season, as well as refusing to participate in the Durand Cup. Prior to the start of the Indian Super League season in late 2020, Sourav Ganguly, one of the co-owners of ATK Mohun Bagan Pvt. Ltd., announced his resignation. 

ATK Mohun Bagan made a number of big transfers in Indian football during the year 2021, including Liston Colaco for around $161K and Hugo Boumous for over $250K. ATK Mohun Bagan also acquired Finnish midfielder Joni Kauko, who had just played in UEFA Euro 2020. 

On 18 December, Habas revealed his intention to leave his job as the coach of ATK Mohun Bagan after a winless stretch of four games, including their worst defeat in the league to that point. On 19 December, Goa president announced that Juan Ferrando has been signed to replace Habas as head coach of ATK Mohun Bagan.

Ferrando’s take

What was Ferrando’s take on the game? “It was a) terrible for us. Our goal was to gain three points, as we had predicted,” he said following the match. The Spanish trainer, on the other hand, wasn’t too upset with the outcome and stated that his team would continue to strive hard. “We’ll try to

ATK now sit third in the table with 10 points from six games , while Mohun Bagan are sixth with seven points from six games.The match at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar was goalless in the first half but Mohun Bagan scored early in the second through Dipanda Dicka. However, ATK equalized through Manuel Lanzarote in the 71st minute.

Mohun Bagan remain winless against ATK in eight meetings across all competitions.

Asked about Mohun Bagan’s unbeaten record against his side, Ferrando said: “Every game is different. We will try to win the next game.”

Problems throughout the round

“Till the last moment, we must fight. This is my aim and our mentality. We need to fight till the end,” he continued, Bagan’s charge for first place continuing as it did, albeit now not entirely in their own hands due to Jamshedpur having a game in hand and Hyderabad also needing points.

Roy Krishna has been out of action for a few games because of an injury, but he will not feature in Bengaluru United’s home game against the same opponent on Sunday due to his red card.

If Hugo Boumous was on the team, Liston Colaco appeared to have picked up a hip problem, while Sandesh Jhingan was also substituted off at half-time other than Carl McHugh’s early in the second period.

“We have to fight with the players who are available. We know it’s not going to be easy, but we will try our best,” Ferrando told reporters after the game in Cuttack.

Bagan’s Spanish coach is however upbeat and wants his boys to maintain their fighting spirit. “It’s necessary to fight until the last moment. This is my target and our mentality. Till the last moment, we need to fight,” he added as Bagan’s race to the top continues, albeit it’s now not entirely in their own hands as Jamshedpur have a game in hand and Hyderabad will also need to drop points.