The Mariners are winless so far after two matches in Durand Cup 2022.
ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will eye their maiden win in Durand Cup 2022 when they clash in the Kolkata Derby. Both teams are still winless in the competition. While the Mariners started with a defeat and a goalless draw by Mumbai City FC, East Bengal drew both their games. ATKMB coach Juan Ferrando is confident his team can finally break their shackles and score goals.
With three points in his mind, Ferrando said the target from Day one of the tournament was to reach the knockouts. He also had words to say on the East Bengal squad and ATKMB’s dominance in the Kolkata Derby.
ATK Mohun Bagan suffered a shock 2-3 defeat to I-League side Rajasthan United in their opening fixture and drew 1-1 with Mumbai City FC. East Bengal were held to goalless draws by Indian Navy and Rajasthan United. Mumbai City and Rajasthan United are tied on four points in group B, East Bengal are third with two points and ATK Mohun Bagan sit fourth with a solitary point.
The stakes are sky high in the first Kolkata derby of the season. ATKMB head coach Juan Ferrando shared his thoughts at the pre-match press conference.
Approach for the game
Ferrando recognised the magnitude of the derby happening in Kolkata. “Of course, our target is to get three points. It is necessary to win to be in the knockouts. I hope we will be much better in attack, and we will focus on defence to get full points.”
What went wrong in the first two games
The ATKMB coach stressed on the fine details and rued the missed chances as the main causes of their lackluster performance against Rajasthan United. In the second match, Juan felt that the opponents were very good. “There were a lot of transitions, and the match was difficult to control in defence and also in attack,” the coach explained.
Advantages of full squad
East Bengal will be missing most of their new foreign recruits for the match. When asked if having a full squad is an advantage, the coach answered, “A full squad is not an advantage in this case. Everybody wants to play and are ready. The squad of East Bengal in my point of view is much better than last season.
“They have quality players with experience, and it will be a very difficult match. They are still in the pre-season, but I think it is most important to focus and not forget the plan.”
Can ATKMB make it 6 in 6?
ATK Mohun Bagan and Mohun Bagan prior to the merger, have won the last five Kolkata derbies, but Juan Ferrando believes that in football, being in the present is important. “For us, it is an important challenge to get three points and qualify for the Durand Cup knockouts.
“The past is the past and there are different squads, coaching staffs, and situations. The last derbies were in Goa and the most important is to be ready on Sunday.”
Fans are back
Juan Ferrando is very excited at the prospect of fans returning to the stadium. “When you play these matches, the atmosphere is amazing. I know the feelings of both supporters of ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. I hope in the end, we will be a big part of Kolkata football.” The coach signed off by asking everyone to enjoy the match and hopes to improve the football in Kolkata year by year.