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ISL- Indian Super League

Juan Ferrando credits players for thriving under pressure at Kochi

Published at :October 17, 2022 at 5:44 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Uttiyo Sarkar


Ferrando also spoke about the team's preparation for the Kolkata Derby.

ATK Mohun Bagan won their first match of the 2022/23 Indian Super League (ISL) season in an emphatic fashion, with a 5-2 victory over Kerala Blasters on Sunday. New signing Dimitris Petratos introduced himself in style with an amazing hat-trick, as well as assisting Lenny Rodrigues’ goal. Another foreigner Joni Kauko also got on the score-sheet for the Mariners. The victory also reduced the pressure on coach Juan Ferrando after disappointing campaigns in the AFC Cup and Durand Cup.

Here's what the ATK Mohun Bagan head coach said after his side's maiden win in the season.

Thoughts on the win

Juan Ferrando was delighted to see his side get such a big win in a daunting environment. He said after the game: “It was good to play here. The atmosphere is amazing and fitting for football. A lot of supporters came to the stadium, I saw a lot of yellow T-shirts. It was difficult for the players to play here because the crowd gives maximum pressure. They had to work under pressure. When you play here as a team, it’s difficult.

“But I think it was important for the players to improve today. This is normal football and the players need to work under pressure. Football in Europe and South America is like this. I’m happy in how the team showed character after the difficult first 10-15 minutes,” he added.

Perfect win before Derby?

When asked if this was the perfect win to get before the Kolkata Derby, the Spaniard answered:  “For me, every match is difficult. In the ISL, every game is totally different. Normally, after having 2-3 scorers, you are hoping for better performance in the next match and are more motivated. But everything can change quickly.

"For us, it’s important to think about ourselves, to continue working because we’re in process – this team is. We need to find ways to improve in transition and some other details. But for us, it’s a pleasure to play the Kolkata Derby in two weeks – because it’s an important game for the supporters. I hope the team will be ready for the game.”

Addressing sack rumours

Before the game, some rumours were swirling about if Ferrando is at risk of being sacked should his side lose. Addressing that, he gave a rant and said: “I’m not worried about that. I explain that all the time, but I’ll repeat that here in India, you lose a lot of time worrying about stupid things. I’m here, my job is to work with the team – every day! My contract obliges me to work Sunday to Sunday. It’s normal to work and put attention into improving in football. I’m very upset when there are talks about things like ‘sack the players’ or ‘sack this coach’.

“You lose a lot of time in these things. Put energy into promoting the amazing atmosphere of today, put energy into stating how well the young players played under pressure. Put energy into how Kerala Blasters played a 4-4-2 and how we played much better than the opponent and hurt them in the counter-attack. Because in these cases, India will improve in football.

"You shouldn’t lose energy for stuff like Hero of the Match, Man of the Match, Super Man of the Match! Football is a team game and that needs to be promoted here."

Liston Colaco's role in win

Asked if he had urged Liston Colaco to try to exploit Hamanjot Khabra’s area in the game, Juan Ferrando replied: “The plan was that we urged Liston not to just stick on the left because we know Khabra would be in the side all the time. He would find free space and could attack much better there.

"The team wasn’t comfortable, because Brendan played as a left centre-back – Tangri was close and this helped Liston play more freely. In the first 10-12 minutes, we had difficulties in the build-up and second part of the attack – because Kerala Blasters pressed us really well.

“But after 20 minutes, when Joni (Kauko) got closer to Hugo (Boumous), we found more spaces and the likes of Liston, Dimitris and Manvir got more space to attack. Dimtri sometimes even plaed like a winger and it worked. I’m happy because sometimes it’s necessary to prepare a plan, but also to encourage changing details depending on the minutes,” he ended with.

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