The coach also provided update on Tiri’s serious injury and spoke on other matters.

Gokulam Kerala trounced ATK Mohun Bagan 4-2 in their AFC Cup debut with Luka Majcen scoring a brace, while Rashid and Jithin MS also got on the scoresheet. Pritam Kotal and Liston Colaco scored for the Mariners in a goal-flooded second half. However, that wasn’t enough as the Malabarians ran riot with three goals in 15 minutes. ATKMB coach Juan Ferrando was disappointed with the result, but pointed towards the multiple injuries in the camp as posisble result for the loss.

Here is what the ATK Mohun Bagan coach said at the post-match press conference.

How do you look at the game?

Juan Ferrando started by shedding light on his thoughts on the game, “In the first half, we had most of the chances. The score was good. Then, in the second half due to injuries, we changed the plan. We became unlucky. The counter-attacks and transitions were difficult for the team. There are no excuses for the loss. It’s now necessary to put our focus in the next match on Saturday.”

Tiri’s injury turning point?

In the 37th minute, Tiri suffered an injury. Ashutosh Mehta replaced him, but was later replaced by Ravi Bahadur Rana. When asked if the injury was the turning point of the game, the tactician replied, “Of course, Tiri’s injury was crucial because we had to change our plan. Then I thought about using Ashutosh Mehta for the transitions.

“We took the decision and we changed the formation as players like Joni Kauko and David Williams were very tired – maybe for the weather. I think four goals isn’t the same situation. We are not ready for the transition. In our case, in the first half we had chances but we were unlucky. This is past now. We need to learn from our mistakes.”

Tiri injury update

As per sources, Tiri is perhaps out for eight to nine months. However, as the press conference ended prior to this notice, Juan Ferrando wasn’t much aware of the injury. He commented,  “I don’t know at this moment. But it is a big one. Some physios and doctors told me about the ACL ligament. It’s a difficult injury.

“This season for me was incredible. Carl McHugh was at the hospital. Tiri and Hugo Boumous are out. Roy Krishna was injured in February and March. Soosairaj is also injured. This is what high performance is like. Sometimes we need to check upon the injuries. Regarding Tiri, we have to look at the scan reports.”

Team repeatedly failed in transitions

When asked the team repeatedly failed in transitions, the coach explained, “If you check the first goal it was a one versus one situation. One player was very tired and lost the ball and the transition as well when the team was attacking. Regrading the second goal, it was a foul on Joni Kauko. The third goal was an obvious one because I can take the clippings and explain the mistake to the players.

“We have to ensure that we don’t repeat the same mistakes in the next match. Everybody knows about our point of view of football. Its very important to rectify these mistakes.”

Lack of a proper central defender

ATK Mohun Bagan are lacking in the defensive third. When quizzed about the lack of a proper central defender other than Tiri, Ferrando asserted, “Yesterday I mentioned in the press conference that everybody is ready to help the team. If it is not possible for Tiri, then Tangri will play. If Tangri is not available then Sumit Rathi will play. Of course, Tiri’s injury was crucial because we had to change plans. But I don’t want to blame Tiri’s injury for the loss.”

Timing and weather affected the result?

When asked if the timing and weather of the match played a part in the result, the tactician opined, “No. Gokulam Kerala and we played under the same conditions (time and weather). To be honest, in the first half, the match was even. In the second half, may be the players were tired. When you’re down 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, the psychology is not same.

“When you’re up 3-1, may be the weather is very hot, but you want to run because your team is ahead by two goals. But if you are down, the psychology plays its role. For me, there are no water breaks. We are training more or less at the same time. It’s necessary to accept the loss and learn from this result.”

Is it over for ATKMB?

ATK Mohun Bagan have two more matches left. However, the situation is now tougher. Is it over for the Mariners? Juan Ferrando replied, “At this moment, it is important to prepare for the next match. We have two days to prepare. We need to change the psychology of the team.

“Then we can talk if it is possible to defeat Maziya in the last game and qualify to the next round. It is important to talk to the players and help the team with their mentality. We have to go step by step and focus on the present, rather than tomorrow.  I hope our players will do much better against Basundhara Kings than we did today.”

Opinion on Vincenzo Alberto Annese’s comment

At the post-match press conference, Gokulam Kerala head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese claimed that “Real Kashmir who were fighting the relegation battle in the I-League provided a tougher fight than the Mariners.

When the same was mentioned to Juan Ferrando, he replied, “Friendly games are not similar to competitive games. We defeated the national team, but that doesn’t mean we are better than then. We fielded six to seven developmental players in the friendly games. The most important thing is to learn from today’s loss. 27 years ago, I drew against Tottenham Hotspur (laughs). It’s important to put focus on the game. Life was much better six months ago, when I was more handsome.”

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