ATK Mohun Bagan takes on FC Goa in an Indian Super League encounter here on Wednesday, Spanish coach Juan Ferrando, who is familiar with the surroundings, albeit in different colours, he vows to put emotions aside.
After Antonio Lopez Habas broke up with the Mariners due to poor results, Ferrando shifted allegiances to ATKMB earlier this month.
Ferrando got the green and maroons off to a good start with a 3-2 win over NorthEast United, but he’ll be up against a team he knows like the back of his hand in FC Goa.
Derrick Pereira took over from Ferrando, with whom he had previously worked closely, and on Wednesday, the seasoned Indian tactician will try to outsmart his former colleague in order to right FC Goa’s ship.
Ferrando’s in-depth knowledge of the Mariners’ opponents will be extremely beneficial to the team. The Mariners played with more freedom in his debut match in command, putting on one of their greatest attacking efforts of the season.
Ferrando, who is 40 years old, will be looking for improvements, particularly in set-piece defence. In their first seven games, they’ve already given up 15 goals.
Their defence of set-piece scenarios has been a source of concern recently. Set-piece goals have accounted for nine of their 15 goals this season. This season, no team has scored more goals from set-pieces.
Faced with his old side, Ferrando, on the other hand, sounded emotional.
“It’s tough for me to put into words how I’m feeling. In just two days, a lot of things had altered. Accepting change is always challenging. It is sometimes important to make these choices. For me, it’s all about putting in the hours at ATK Mohun Bagan right now “During the pre-match press conference, he stated.
“It’s unusual to be preparing your team to face your previous opponents. Normally, you have time, but it is quite tough in this circumstance. I’m not sure; I have conflicted feelings and mixed emotions, but I’m a professional, and I’ll do my best to win the game “Ferrando stated.
FC Goa has won two games in a row under Ferrando after a poor start to the season, but have since surrendered points to Hyderabad FC and Odisha FC.
With eight points from seven games, the Gaurs sit in eighth place in the points standings. With a win on Wednesday, they will return to the centre of the standings, level on points with ATKMB, who have 11 points from seven games and are fifth in the table.
There is some good news for FC Goa in the form of Jorge Ortiz, who will be available for selection after serving a two-match suspension. In five appearances thus far this season, he has one goal and three assists.
Stiker Airam Cabrera, on the other hand, has been ruled out due to a hamstring issue.
“Our viewpoint will not alter. We may make tiny adjustments here and there, but I am confident that if we focus for 90 minutes, we will see results. Overall, it’s a process, and the club has performed admirably through the first three games. As a group, we’re going to get better, “Derrick Pereira stated.
ATK is the current highlight. With a 2-1 win over FC Goa, Mohun Bagan climbed into the top five of the Indian Super League leaderboard. ATKMB’s goals came from Liston Colaco and Roy Krishna, while Goa’s goal came from Jorge Ortiz in a surprising manner in the 80th minute.
Jorge Ortiz scores to bring one back for Goa after Amrinder makes a blunder.