ISL- Indian Super League

Necessary to prepare a different system in defense, says Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando

Rutvij JoshiRutvij Joshi

September 22 2023
Juan Ferrando ATK Mohun Bagan Chennaiyin FC ISL 2022-23 Indian Super League

Mariners won the ISL trophy last season

Juan Ferrando and his Mohun Bagan team are gearing up for the 10th edition of the Indian Super League (ISL). In their opening match of the season, the Kolkata giants will face the newly-introduced ISL side Punjab FC. Mohun Bagan Super Giants had a remarkable beginning to their season, clinching the prestigious Durand Cup and securing three consecutive victories in the AFC Cup.

In anticipation of this crucial fixture, head coach Juan Ferrando and Liston Colaco, a key player, took part in the press conference and shared some noteworthy insights with the media.

Thoughts on upcoming fixture after win against Odisha FC

The Spaniard started off the conversation by sharing his thoughts on this fixture. “It’s a championship, so it’s different. Obviously, it is not the same match when you play in the Grand Cup. About the last match, the AFC Cup is a different tournament. So, I think it’s necessary to focus on tomorrow. Don’t think about the past. All the time, explain the same. The most important is the present and future. Tomorrow, we need to start the season in our home. It’s an important match. Punjab is a good team. The last season was an amazing season for them. I think for them it’s a great opportunity to start the ISL in this stadium, in the field of the big opponent. So it’s an important match, it’s an amazing match and I hope we’ll be in focus 90 minutes because the opponent is not so easy and it’s necessary to put focus in 90 minutes.”

Approach for game

Juan Ferrando quipped that the approach of his team against newbie Punjab FC won’t change and added, “I think it’s… all the time I explain the same for me, it’s day by day. Now my target is to prepare the team for tomorrow. You know, it’s difficult when it’s a lot of matches in a short time. So it’s necessary to prepare some details, you know, because tomorrow is a first match, it’s a very important three points in this league, when you play at home more or less it’s like finals. So it’s necessary everybody be ready and everybody be happy also, you know, because this tournament is not so easy. I think it’s very important that the mentality.”

On Mohun Bagan defense

Mohun Bagan SG conceded few goals at the start of the season and now the defense has become compact. When quizzed how they are working on their defense he replied, “When we are talking about the defense, I’m not talking about the keepers on the line defense. I’m talking about the press of the center forwards, the press of the wingers, the timing of the press. So it’s just a lot of resources for the success in defense.

“So I think tomorrow, it’s necessary to prepare a different system in defense. It’s not the same to play when, for example, the last match against Odisha or when you play against the final in the Duran Cup. It’s totally different. And I hope we’ll be ready, you know, because I think it’s… The opponent is totally different with the last opponents and it’s necessary to change the mentality, to change the plan. And sometimes, of course, there are risks, you know, but we play at home and it is necessary to take some risks because we want to win the first three points.”

On the rotational policy

Juan Ferrando shared his views about rotating the squad and quipped, “Yeah, I explain about the situation when for example in short time you have a lot of matches, it’s difficult because there is not enough time to prepare the team. But I’m happy in the same moment because this is a big club, in the big clubs in Europe, in Asia, in whatever you want, they are playing in different competitions, international competitions and in domestic competitions. So, I’m happy because this is our problem, to play a lot of matches.

“So, of course, for me it’s good because when one big club wants to do the best in different competitions, it’s necessary to prepare the squad. I think we have a good squad. My target is to prepare the players for every match. We try to decide the best line-up, we try to decide the best recovery for the players, the best plan, and then we’ll see, step by step. I think in this moment of the season, I think it’s very important to be clear with the players, be clear about the most important focus is the match tomorrow. After tomorrow, we can start to talk about the next matches you know I think this is the most important for us.”

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