We are a big club as we go for three points in every game – Juan Ferrando on facing FC Goa


In a pivotal Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday, Juan Ferrando’s Mohun Bagan Super Giant is determined to re-establish their winning momentum as they host FC Goa. Following a riveting but ultimately disappointing match against Mumbai City FC, coach Juan Ferrando faces a substantial challenge — halting the unbeaten streak of his former team.

The Salt Lake Stadium will be the battleground where Ferrando endeavours to motivate and guide his team, rallying them to overcome the recent setback. Breaking the opposition’s resilience becomes imperative as Mohun Bagan Super Giant seeks not only redemption from their prior defeat but also a triumphant return to the winner’s circle in the competitive ISL.

Coach Juan Ferrando and Kiyan Nassiri were present in the Press Conference held today at the Mohun Bagan Club.

On facing FC Goa

Ferrando acknowledges the danger posed by his former team as they face the Mariners, stating: “They have started the season so well. They’re playing in good performances as they have had very good results home and away. This season they’ve signed good players, so it’ll be a tough game but a good challenge for us to play against. This type of team is good for us to show our good performance. It’s important for us to think about ourselves, of course, we respect FC Goa, but we need to think about ourselves rather than the opponent.”

We are a big club as we go for three points in every game - Juan Ferrando on facing FC Goa
Juan Ferrando shared his views in today’s press conference between Mohun Bagan Super Giants and FC Goa

Views on Sumit Rathi and Ravi Rana

With Hector Yuste and Asish Rai facing suspensions against FC Goa, the Mariners may have to rely on young defenders such as Sumit Rathi and Ravi Rana for the upcoming match. When questioned about their readiness for the challenge, the coach commented: “Rana and Sumit had played against Maziya and played well at the Maldives in that game. Both players have helped a lot in the CFL and played in the Durand Cup. Ravi has been working with us for two and a half years and I trust Sumit too.

“Last season Sumit didn’t play a lot of matches but played in the final. I trust in them, of course, they have different qualities than other players, but I think Rana and Sumit can help the team be it for 80 minutes or 1 minute. They are young players, they are the future, and they need time and confidence. It’s not important about who plays tomorrow, it’s important that they are ready,” he added.

On preferred position against FC Goa

The Spanish coach emphasizes that the formation employed by his team is inconsequential but emphasizes the importance of his players maintaining emotional composure, stating: “The system is not about the success of the defence or the attack. We have a plan, sometimes we have success because we have control over some details. It’s not related to the system if you have more success in defence than in attack.

“It depends on the opponents, our emotions and our physical condition. I’m happy because the important thing for me in the last match is that our 9-man side created chances until the last minute and was close to getting it to a 2-2 draw. That was a positive thing for me.”

Also Read : Red cards galore as Mumbai City FC beats Mohun Bagan SG 2-1 in their first defeat of the ISL season

Concern about Injuries against FC Goa

Ferrando expressed frustration regarding the way key players on his team have suffered injuries this season, advocating for increased protection from referees. He said, “Decisions of the referees are not in my hands. It’s important for the players to control their emotions and energy. It’s in my hands to help them control them. The decisions of referees or opponents aren’t in my hands, so I don’t like to think about these things. It’s important that the players are ready for tomorrow and not be scared of yellow cards or red cards. If we get more cards, maybe we need to find another plan, it’s not possible to do anything. Like for example, injuries this season have been like Ashique with the national team, Anwar against Bashundhara, Glan and Sahal due to the tackles against Odisha.

We are a big club as we go for three points in every game - Juan Ferrando on facing FC Goa
FC Goa in action at the Indian Super League

“All the injuries this season have been caused by rough tackles in difficult moments. But it’s necessary for referees to protect my players if they don’t want to protect the players…that’s all. In this case, I can’t tell you anything. Maybe Crystal (John) doesn’t (want) to play the national team with good players. But it’s not necessary for me to put focus on these things,” he added.

On the efficiency of the club’s Medical Staff

Ferrando declines to attribute the accumulation of injuries in the past few seasons solely to his medical staff, asserting: “If you check the injuries, it’s not about the fitness coaches or doctor. If you saw last season, Manvir got injured due to a bad tackle on his ankle, and Deepak suffered a bad injury due to a rash tackle against NorthEast. Joni Kauko got injured due to a bad tackle against Goa. Carl (McHugh) also suffered a bad tackle against Chennaiyin. A lot of injuries are because of 90% of bad tackles.

“This season is also the same, apart from some players with groin or hamstring issues. But this is a part of football, maybe the reason is everyone wants to play more aggressively against Mohun Bagan because everyone knows we are a big club and wants to play more aggressively. It’s not a problem about the medical staff, but 90% of the injuries are for bad tackles. We are disappointed, but the most important is to support the player and try to do the best in recoveries,” he added.

Thoughts on the final couple of matches of the year

The coach of Mohun Bagan is of the opinion that his team must persist in their efforts to enhance their performance in the remaining matches of 2023, stating: “Honestly, after the game against Mumbai, it’s important to be ready for the next matches. I’m disappointed as we have no time to work on tactical things, but when you lose one match and immediately have another match, you can change your mood.

“In this moment of the season we’ve played against the top teams knowing we aren’t in the best moments, but this is a challenge. We need to continue working. We have three matches more in the first leg 11 matches for the second leg and one Super Cup in January. I don’t like to cry about injuries or red cards. This is a part of life, we’re in a good moment and are positive,” he ended with.

Follow IFTWC for more updates on Indian football.

Ishayu Gupta
Ishayu Gupta
Mohun Bagan, Madrid and more!

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