ATK Mohun Bagan have bounced back strongly from their disappointing start to the 2022/23 Indian Super League (ISL) season. After losing the opening game to Chennaiyin FC, Juan Ferrando’s army have rallied back with big wins over Kerala Blasters and rivals East Bengal. A number of players have excelled in these wins – especially foreigners Dimitri Petratos and Hugo Boumous. However, one major foreign summer signing who is yet to make an impact is Florentin Pogba. The Kolkata giants shelled out big money to bring the brother of Paul Pogba to their club in the summer.

Ferrando’s comments on Pogba’s situation

However, the Guinea international has since struggled to get enough game time. Juan Ferrando discussed his situation in a recent chat in The Lets Football Live Show. He said: “In the case of Pogba, when he joined us, it was all to prepare for the AFC Cup with three players – Pritam (Kotal), Subhashish (Bose) and Pogba.

“He is very confident in the build-up play and in working with build-up. He’s never under stress and is very confident in himself. I love that about him. What happened is that sometimes in transitions we had a lot of problems. In the AFC Cup, we decided to play four at the back – Brendan (Hamill) and Pogba together.

“In the league, that is no use because in the process of the build-up, except in the Kerala game where they had a high press for 10-15 minutes, Chennaiyin and East Bengal never pressed us high up. That is why we haven’t used him in the starting XI that much so far, because his build-up play is not necessary.

“It’s very important with Pogba to use him as a double no.6. In this case, when the opponents decide to play with high balls, he is very good dealing with them. This is the plan why we’ve used Pogba sporadically at the start of the season. Sometimes it’s necessary to find the best players for the current moment.

“Our mentality is to use more players in the attack and in defence.”

Pogba’s time at ATKMB so far

Florentin Pogba has made five appearances since he joined the Mariners. Out of that, two have been in the ISL – where he’s had 28 minutes of playing time as a substitute in the Kerala Blasters and East Bengal games. He played three matches in the Durand Cup, winning only one of them (against East Bengal).

The Guinean also played in the AFC Cup Inter-Zonal semi-final loss to Kuala Lumpur City FC. In the four games where Pogba has started as a centre-back, ATKMB have conceded six goals and kept just one clean sheet.

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