The tactician was steadfast in his support of his players.

Juan Ferrando led ATK Mohun Bagan’s Indian Super League (ISL) season started in the worst possible way, as they fell to a 2-1 loss to Chennaiyin FC at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Monday. Manvir Singh opened the scoring in the 27th minute with a well-taken goal, but the Mariners failed to double their lead.

That ended up coming back to haunt them as Chennaiyin FC’s substitute Kwame Karikari earned and scored his penalty in the 63rd minute. He also set up the winner for Rahim Ali in the 83rd minute, getting a big win for his side.

Reflections on game

Juan Ferrando was disappointed with the loss. He seemingly blamed the light issue – which happened early in the second half causing the game to be halted for a few minutes – resulting in the loss. He said, “When we stopped the match in the second half, the team got distracted and lost their focus in the match, It got difficult after the penalty.

“The team was closer to 1-0 than 1-1 before that. But, after the penalty, the situation is difficult because emotions aren’t totally positive and it’s difficult to change the mentality. They are humans. There are other ways to go keep going and tomorrow is a new day,” he added.

Poor second half

Speaking on why his side’s performance level sharply dropped in the second half, he stated, “When the team concedes a goal, the player gets more stressed and loses confidence. Hence, they missed passes and miss opportunities to score. It’s necessary to tell them now that this is football, there are good and bad moments, but it’s necessary to react strongly.

“That is the only solution. Everyone here has two legs and two arms. We can change this situation, that is the solution. We had many chances today, but this team will change one day. We are more close to winning than losing games,” he added.

Missed Chances

ATK Mohun Bagan missed a number of chances today, with Ashique Kuruniyan being especially frustrating with his final product. Speaking on this, Juan Ferrando noted, “When you miss the chances you have, then it becomes a problem. This is a reality, you have chances and the tam is playing well.

Also Read: Chennaiyin FC register comeback to beat ATK Mohun Bagan

“The team creates the space, but then the opponent changes the score with one cross and one penalty. But it’s necessary to keep going. They were better than us so we can only tell congratulations. We need to keep going.”

Players failing to execute plans?

When asked if his players aren’t properly following his plans and possible issues in his team, Ferrando fired back, “To talk about the players is easy. I trust in my players and in my squad. They aren’t in a good moment and my job is to support them. But, the question that players don’t follow my plan is extra unnecessary talk.

“They are professionals and it’s stupid to think about this. We have meetings every week and they try to do their best in every training and every match. You can see they aren’t happy and are very upset with the loss. There are no problems with the plans for executing it. When you lose games, psychology isn’t good and that is affecting us,” he added.

Dimitri Petratos’ performance

He also spoke about debutant Dimitri Petratos, who got an assist, but was also taken off after the hour-mark. The Spaniard quipped, “This was the first match for Dimitri Petratos. The first match was in May. He hasn’t played games since that. It’s not normal to play a full game after that big a gap, because if we played him for 90 minutes it would be a risk. We have other players like Liston (Colaco) and Fardin (Molla). Joni (Kauko) and Hugo (Boumous) can play in that position too. We need him for the next Sunday and it’s necessary to protect him.”

Finally, Ferrando also vowed to change his side’s mentality and get things back on track immediately. He said, “After the penalty, the team got more emotional. They were scared thinking that they aren’t confident and it was necessary to change and support them. They were tired too at one point. The team could be stronger after this loss. The situation isn’t good for the fans or for us, but we need to change our mentality 100%.”

For more updates, follow Khel Now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and join our community on Telegram.