Kolkata, March 12 (IANS) ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando is confident of coming out on top against Hyderabad FC in their Indian Super League (ISL) semi-final second leg game at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Monday.
The two sides played out a goalless draw in the first leg held in Hyderabad on Thursday. With neither side holding an advantage heading into the second leg, Ferrando believes the upcoming clash will be significantly different that the previous one.
“Monday’s game will be like a final for us. First leg was different from what will happen in Monday’s game. Our mentality is to play like a final, of course, the target is to win and reach the final. It’s an important match and it is important to get the job done in 90 minutes,” Ferrando quoted as saying by ISL.
The head coach also provided an injury update on midfielder Ashique Kuruniyan – who got injured in the first-half of the previous leg – and on forward Kiyan Nassiri Giri.
“We are working with the physios on Ashique’s fitness. In case of Kiyan (Nassiri Giri), it (recovery) is still in the moment and the process differs from player to player. We’ll try our best until the end with our physios, doctors, and then in the end we’ll decide the squad,” he said.
Speaking on the upcoming clash, the Spaniard laid emphasis on how there’s no change in the situation of the game despite his side having a home advantage.
“Obviously, sometimes problems exist with the transitions but it’s normal because the last match we played away. Everybody knows the squad and players of Hyderabad FC. They didn’t play in the last ten days (before the first leg), so we are more fresh than them. More or less, we are in the same situation. Of course it’s important about the tactical details, about the technical details, but the emotions, 90% of it, is very important to control because the players are tired as they travelled,” he added.
With the game holding a possibility of heading into extra-time, Ferrando was adamant that both sides will be keen on finishing the game under the regular time of 90 minutes.
“In my point of view, Hyderabad FC and ATK Mohun Bagan are not thinking about extra-time, they are thinking about winning the match in 90 minutes. We are not thinking of what seems to work in defence or to wait for extra-time. I think from the first minute, (both) teams want to do their best and win the match,” he said.
The Mariners have endured a difficult season, with injuries to several key players leading up to their semi-final run. The 42-year-old acknowledged the strength shown by the entire team during this wearisome period and is confident that they will continue in the same manner in the upcoming game.
“Obviously, this season we had very difficult moments because we lost support of players but the most important thing is that we kept working in the same way. We are one win away from the final. Of course, we are disappointed with our performance this season but the best part about this team is that when the situation is not the best, the performance is not the best, the teammates show character, they continue working in the same way, they try to improve, they try to work hard. For me, this is the most important thing,” the Spaniard commented.
“As a coach, it makes me think that this team can go to the final, this team is improving and can do better. This is the most important thing. Never change the way, never change the idea and stick with the same ideas and philosophy,” he further added.