Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], May 19 (ANI): ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Juan Ferrando was disappointed at his team's failure to collect three points in their opening match of the 2022 AFC Cup.
The ISL side lost 2-4 to the Gokulam Kerala at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Wednesday evening.
"We had so many chances in the first half. The score was good and then in the second half due to injuries we got unlucky. The counter-attacks and transitions were difficult for the team. There are no excuses for the loss. It's now necessary to put our focus in the next matches which are on Saturday and Tuesday," said Ferrando in a post-match press conference, as per the ISL website.
"Tiri's injury was crucial because we had to change our plan. Then I thought about using Ashutosh Mehta for the transitions. We took the decision and we changed the formation as players like Joni Kauko and David Williams were very tired - because of the weather. We were not ready for the transition. In our case, in the first half we had chances but we were unlucky. This is past now. We need to learn from our mistakes," he added.
The head coach further said that it's necessary for his team to accept their defeat and focus on their upcoming matches.
"Gokulam Kerala and we played under the same conditions. To be honest, in the first half, the match was even. In the second half, may be the players were tired. When you're down 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, the psychology is not same. When you're up 3-1, may be the weather is very hot, but you want to run because your team is ahead by two goals. But if you are down, the psychology plays its role. We are training more or less at the same time. It's necessary to accept the loss and learn from this result," said the head coach.
A brace by Luka Majcen, along with goals from Rishad and Jithin MS saw the visitors seal the deal in the match that witnessed too many defensive errors from ATKMB. The Mariners though found two goals from Pritam Kotal and Liston Colaco from set-pieces, but they were unable to match the pressure put on by Gokulam.
ATK Mohun Bagan will be facing Bashundhara Kings on Saturday, with Gokulam Kerala up against Maziya on the same day in Group D. (ANI)