Juan Ferrando’s ATK Mohun Bagan are currently placed 5th on the points table and are keen to get their first win against Mumbai City FC, after emerging victorious over the Red and Gold Brigade at the Kolkata derby as they came from a goal behind to score three goals thanks to the youngster Kiyan Nassiri Giri’s stunning display.
Meanwhile, opponents Mumbai City FC, are placed 6th on the points table. A win against the Mariners will get them into the top 4, but they have struggled to grab wins in their last 6 encounters. In their last game, they had to settle for a 1-1 draw against 11th placed NorthEast United FC.
Ahead of ATK Mohun Bagan’s clash against the Islanders on Thursday, 3rd February at the Fatorda Stadium, Coach Juan Ferrando answered questions from the press.
Mumbai City FC has never lost a game against the Mariners in the past. The Head coach of the Green and Maroon army was asked if that fact creates a mental blockage for the players or if he was confident that his team would get the win.
“It’s a new game of ninety minutes. It’s unnecessary to think about the past. One good thing about football is that you are in the present and you can think of the future. The past is the past. Of course, sometimes it’s necessary to learn but I think it’s not necessary to think about what happened two days ago, two games ago, three weeks ago. I think it’s unnecessary.”
Considering the recent form of both the teams. Juan Ferrando was asked if this was the perfect opportunity for the Mariners to grab their first win over the Islanders.
“To be honest I am not thinking about this. I’m thinking about getting the three points. It’s very important and we want to be in the top 4 on the points table. Of course, we want to get the three points and that’s all. It’s another game and for me, it’s good to play these games because I know these teams and their style.”
Juan Fernando was asked about the strengths that the Islanders possessed.
“I think they are a good team. Their plan is clear. They have a good keeper, for the build-up, a good center back, who knows when it’s the moment for the build-up, when is the moment to attack using the free space. You know about their no.9, Igor Angulo, who won the Golden Ball last season. About the wingers, everybody knows. Cassinho is very good at working on the line and finding the spaces. I can talk for an hour about Mumbai if you want.“
Head coach Juan Ferrando was asked about his plans for young Kiyan Nassiri Giri, who has won the hearts of every fan who adores the Mariners after that brilliant hattrick in the last Kolkata derby.
“To be honest he has to work on some places to improve. Of course, I’m happy. He was good at finding the space and acted well when it came to finishing, but he needs to impress his pressing, he needs to improve his timing of the passes, and that’s normal. Day by day, game by game, he will improve more. Of course, the supporters are happy but we need to stay calm and protect him.”
Due to the lack of goals for Manvir Singh in this season, Juan Ferrando was asked if he was satisfied with his performance so far this season.
“I am happy, to be honest. Of course, he needs to improve his pressing so he can help us more in the attack, as our style is very important. It is necessary to keep calm. I tell this to every player, as every player has to go through difficult moments. A lot of our players are not performing well because our situation is not the best. Our training session is not the best. I know the quality of Manvir, and day by day, game by game, he would be more efficient in helping the team in attack as well as in the defense.”
As the race for the top 4 has heated up. Head coach Ferrando’s last question of the press conference was regarding the importance of a win against the Islanders.
“To be honest, for me, the next nine games are very important. I think it’s good for the supporters as everybody checks the table and at the end, all the games become way more competitive. So, our target now is to give our best and get the three points. The intensity of the games is much higher than it is now due to the current situation. My point of view is to find out the best plan and win, win, win and get the three points.
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