Subhasish Bose scored the winner for the Mariners.

ATK Mohun Bagan picked up a thrilling 2-1 win over NorthEast United in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Thursday. Liston Colaco gave Juan Ferrando’s side the lead in the 35th minute, but the Highlanders dugged in deep to snatch an equalizer through Aaron Evans in the 81st minute.

Just when it looked like the points would be shared, Subhashish Bose scored a brilliant header in added time to get a win that takes ATK Mohun Bagan to second place. Juan Ferrando was happy to get such a dramatic win. He was pressed in his post-match press conference about the opposition coach Marco Bulbul claiming that the Mariners didn’t deserve all three points.

Thoughts on the result and the opposition coach’s comments

He replied:  “For me, the most important thing is to talk about my club. I saw in his last press conferences that he noted that the games against Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC should’ve been draws, but the decision of the referees cost them. In my point of view, NorthEast United, in a normal case, should have 4-5 points in the table.

But today the match was very difficult, because I knew it wouldn’t be an easy match as they’re a good team which has a plan. Sometimes, they get unlucky in matches. They had chances after it became 1-0 and then they conceded a late goal. My thoughts are only about the next game against FC Goa.”

Despite the win, the Mariners missed some key chances in the game. When asked if that’s a worry, the Spaniard stated: “I’m not worried because we got the three points and that’s all I want. I want three points. We won 2-1 and even if we missed 20 opportunities, for me that isn’t a problem. In the end, football is about getting three points in the match and it doesn’t matter how we play. I’m happy about getting the three points today.”

Liston Colaco to get better?

Liston Colaco finally opened his ISL goal account with a nicely taken strike. The Spaniard praised him and urged fans to be patient, explaining: “I explain all the time that it’s tough for players to maintain a high-performance level. It’s not only in India, but even the players playing in other leagues. Even the best players, barring 2-3 players who are at the very top, will miss passes, miss chances and crosses won’t be good. I’m happy because he keeps working in training and his mentality is strong.

“I don’t know how he’ll perform in the next game or in December, but everyone knows that Liston is close to reaching his normal performance. He’ll need to improve some details, but that’s normal. That will happen and then we’ll see his best form. I always say that the best moment for a player is from the age of 28-30. It’s necessary to work in himself and work for the team, but with his talent, his development is going perfectly,” he added.

Full details of Pogba’s injury

Juan Ferrando also revealed that Florentin Pogba is suffering from a slight ankle issue, which has kept him out for the last few games. He detailed his situation, stating: “Florentin is in the process of recovering. Maybe he can play, but I don’t like to put pressure on one player because then the risk of another injury increases. Sometimes it’s about protecting him. You know, he can come in and play instead of Boumous, but I want to protect him.

“It’s the same with Carl McHugh. He played in the Kerala Blasters and then felt hamstring problems, after which we decided to give him some rest. Injuries aren’t easy to deal with. It’s necessary when it comes to ankle, hips, or knee injuries – it’s necessary to take things step by step because that can cause issues in the future.

“He feels some problems in his ankle when he jumps. It’s difficult to explain because it takes a lot of muscles, ligaments and things. When he’s jumping or doing too much activity, he’s feeling pain. It’s necessary to help him recover one day at a time. His role in the team is to support everyone.

He is never upset. He comes into the dressing room, and he likes interacting with everyone. If an injured player’s reaction is like this, then he’s my Man of the Match,” he added.

Dimitri Petratos’ role

Dimitri Petratos provided another assist to set up the winner tonight. When asked if he’s developed into a leader in attack for ATKMB, Juan Ferrando said: “For me in the end it’s important to win the games and score goals. For me, it’s not important if a player is inside the box or if he can finish the goals. This team is ready in the position of attacks to control the spaces and timing of the attacks. It’s good because the team knows the concept of our attack, be it the starting players or substitutes.

“Sometimes we have success and sometimes we miss chances. But I’m very happy because we’ve scored 12 goals so far. Subhashish, Lenny, Manvir, Liston, Petratos three goals, Hugo. Everyone is contributing to goals, except Vishal (Kaith) because he’s a player.

“I’m very happy when we have such variety in goal-scorers. Dimitri isn’t a typical number nine, because he knows how to control the spaces and provide crosses as he did for Subhasish’s goal. I’m happy with him,” he added.

Thoughts on FC Goa game

Addressing queries and what he wants to see improve within his side for the big game against FC Goa next week, the Spaniard stated: “We have 6-7 days to prepare for the game. It’ll be difficult because Goa has started the season with good performances. They have nine points at the moment.

“We’ll see what things need to be improved. It’s a great opportunity for us to watch their upcoming game against Kerala on Sunday. I hope the players will be ready for the game. In my opinion, people will enjoy the game as both teams will want to win the game.”

Ferrando will, of course, be meeting his former employers next week. When asked if that’ll be a game close to his heart, he said: “No, nothing like that. I was with them for a season and I was really happy. But then I changed and I’m very happy. I have a very good squad, very good players and great people around me.

“Every training session, I enjoy every day here in Kolkata. My life is almost perfect, 90% (because my family isn’t here). But I’m very happy here.”

Subhashish Bose’s comments

Subhashish Bose, who was the Man of the Match for his late winner, was pleased with the result. Explaining his thoughts on his strike, he said: “In the match, both the teams get the chances. It doesn’t work with only one team getting the chances and another not getting any. Both the teams scored, both created and our team spirit was great. It’s great that we could score a last-minute winner and I’ll credit the entire team for that.

“Dimitri swung in a great cross and the team worked very hard and played really well today. We’ll try better to get a clean sheet going forward.”

He also opened up on their plan for the FC Goa game, stating:  “We will go according to what the coach (Juan Ferrando) plans. We have a week or so for the next game. As the coach will decide how we’ll play and the areas we’ll improve or how we’ll attack and defence, we’ll prepare accordingly.”

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