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Juan Ferrando: Today's reaction was of utmost importance

Published at :December 3, 2023 at 12:09 AM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:11 AM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Uttiyo Sarkar

Juan Ferrando’s Mohun Bagan bounced back brilliantly after losing harshly to Odisha FC earlier this week.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant maintained their 100% win-record in the Indian Super League 2023-24 with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Hyderabad FC at the Kalinga Stadium, Odisha on Saturday, December 2. The Nizams actually kept the Mariners at bay for the majority of the game before Brendan Hamill broke the deadlock by popping in a goal from out of nowhere to score the opener in the 86th minute.

Ferrando pleased with fighting win

Asish Rai scored a thunderous strike in added-time to get all three points for Mohun Bagan, who bagged a much-needed win to bounce back from their AFC Cup elimination. Juan Ferrando was pleased to see his side get the win, as he said: “It was a difficult match as we knew. My opinion is that in their last three matches, against Kerala and also against Chennaiyin, Hyderabad played better and improved a lot of things and are a difficult team.

“The match was difficult because it was tough to find the spaces and also for our mentality coming into the game. Hyderabad had to play in a neutral venue, but I’m happy that we were better in the second half and found the spaces. Our chances were more clear and that won us the match,” he added.

Thoughts on bouncing back from Odisha loss

The Spaniard was proud with how his side bounced back from the crushing loss to Odisha FC. He said: “For us, the biggest problem happened (against Odisha) when we lost in the AFC Cup against Bashundhara Kings. The problem that happened against Odisha was that one minute before the match, everyone knew the result of the Bashundhara-Maziya game and that made it difficult for us to continue in the AFC Cup.

“Our focus was not 100% in that match, so the score was normal. For us, today’s reaction was of utmost importance. When you lose a match on Monday and then you have an away game on Saturday in difficult situation, the most important thing is the reaction. We were not fresh in the first half and didn’t have clear ideas in front of goal, but we were much better in the second half,” he added.

Injury updates

Juan Ferrando insists that he won’t rush Dimitri Petratos or Manvir Singh back into his team amid their injury issues. He claimed: “The medical staff are working a lot and trying to do their best. When there are muscle injuries, it’s difficult to tell you if they will return for the next game. Maybe they can return tomorrow if the scans are positive. After what happened last season, if players are coming off bad injuries, I tend to protect them and give them time.

“The injury of Petratos started on November 7 so practically he’s been out for a month. Manvir was better but I don’t know what happened when he joined the national team and then he came back with an injury,” he further stated.

Feelings on Hamill’s goal and five wins in-a-row

Juan Ferrando was delighted to see Brendan Hamill get a goal but is not bothered with who is scoring goals for his side. He explained: “I’m so happy for him. But for me, it’s always to create the spaces, work in the positional attacks. It’s not important who scores the goal. Today it’s Brendan, one day it’ll be Kiyan (Nassiri), Suhail (Bhatt) or Hugo (Boumous), Sahal (Abdul Samad). The most important is who creates the space.

“In this case the action of Armando Sadiku and Asish Rai and also for Sahal to go inside was perfect because Brendan attacked that space and I know he’s a centre-back but that was a very good finish. He has tried to push the team a lot of times,” he highlighted.

Finally, the Spaniard opened up about his side winning all their five matches in the ISL this season. He mentioned: “We’ve won five matches, it’s not easy. But maybe it’s because the players are doing a good job. It’s incredible because of all the matches we’ve played, especially the away matches against Chennaiyin and today against Hyderabad. I’m happy because the team want to have ambition and win every match. It’s also good for our mentality to keep going and going forward,” he finished with.

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