ATK Mohun Bagan failed to move closer to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Odisha FC on Thursday. Redeem Tlang opened the scoring in the fifth minute for Odisha, before Joni Kauko’s penalty three minutes later levelled the scores. ATKMB boss Juan Ferrando spoke to the media following the match.
Disappointed with the result
Juan Ferrando was understandably disappointed to see his side drop points, as he said after the game, “Yes, it’s disappointing. Our target is to get three points in every game and that is my focus.”
The Mariners have ended up drawing both the games they’ve played against Odisha this season. When asked about the reason behind this, the Spaniard remarked, “We had chances. Today in the second half, normally it should be 45 minutes, but the referee decided to play for five minutes – maybe we should learn to play only five minutes. Maybe the training sessions should be reduced to 20 minutes. This is good for us!”
Summit finish chances over
Speaking about whether ATKMB’s dreams of winning the league stages are over, Juan Ferrando said, “It’s necessary to fight until the last moment.
“That is my target and is our mentality, to keep fighting until the last moment. Let’s see what happens, but for us, it’s necessary to fight until the end.”
Thoughts on players’ fitness levels
With a few players picking up niggles, Juan Ferrando was asked about the fitness levels of his squad heading into the final stretch of the season. He explained, “Again, it’s difficult when you have to do all the substitutions because of injuries. When players are ready and fit, you can make substitutions depending on the performance or the moment, if you want to change the plan.
“But, when you lose three subs for injuries, that is not dependent on us. It’s necessary to help them in that moment of the game. It’s not an excuse as it’s the same for all teams. This is because of hard quarantines, soft quarantines, no training and then come here play two games in three days – it’s normal,” he added.
Roy Krishna’s red card
Finally, when questioned about how concerning Roy Krishna’s late red card is for him ahead of the Bengaluru FC game, the ATKMB tactician said, “Now, I think it’s necessary to take a breather.”
“I’ll prepare for the Bengaluru game after tonight and then we’ll think about it. It’s not necessary to think about it right now, it’s necessary for us to keep calm and think about the next days,” concluded Juan Ferrando
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