Indian Super League

Juan Ferrando: I know the importance of the Kolkata Derby

16:59 EAT 22/01/2022
Juan Ferrando Joni Kauko ATK Mohun Bagan ISL 8
The Spanish coach has spent a lot of time reading about the classic rivalry in the past few days...

ATK Mohun Bagan will finally get some action after 18 days as they are scheduled to take on Odisha FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Sunday evening at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa.

Coach Juan Ferrando is wary of the threat posed by the Juggernauts and is not willing to take the fixture lightly. However, it was pretty evident that he has one eye on the Kolkata derby as well which is slated to take place on January 29.

What did Juan Fernando say about Odisha and the Kolkata Derby?

"Right now the games are difficult for everybody. This is a very important game because of the timing. They (Odisha) will be confident after winning against NorthEast United. We have to stick to our plan in this difficult moment. Their forwards and centre backs are very good. They are a good team and also the situation is very difficult," he stated.

Bagan had to quarantine themselves for around 10 days after an increase in Covid-19 cases in the camp and the coach spent a significant amount of time reading on the Kolkata Derby.

"All games are important. First, we have to do well against Odisha then we can think about the derby. It is the first derby for me. I know the importance of it. During the quarantine, I have read a lot about the derby and the football culture in Kolkata. It is upsetting that it is not happening in Kolkata," he expressed.

ATKMB can finish in the top four

The mariners will be missing Hugo Boumous against Odisha. However, Amrinder Singh has started to train again and is likely to feature. The coach also updated that they have signed a new keeper as Avilash Paul is out with a long-term injury.

But Ferrando is mostly concerned with the pyschology and mental fitness of his players as they have been undergoing a tough phase in the bio-bubble.

"The mentality is very important right now. Not the right time to talk about the physical conditions. When the match is postponed it is very difficult. You prepare for a match and when the match is cancelled it is a jolt. But I understand the problems. I am very scared (about the players). Psychology is very important. When you are in quarantine, you change your routine. You are not happy. It is difficult," he stated.

Despite the problems, he is confident that the green and maroon brigade will qualify for the knockouts.

"I am confident because we have a good squad. They want to improve every day. These are difficult moments but in the last two days of training, I got the feeling that they want it very much. It is good," he concluded.