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ATK Mohun Bagan v East Bengal

Roy Krishna not fit to play 90 minutes, reveals Juan Ferrando ahead of Kolkata Derby

18:21 GMT+3 28/01/2022
Roy Krishna, ATK Mohun Bagan, ISL 2021/22
The Fijian has a little hamstring niggle which might not allow him to play the full 90 minutes in the Kolkata derby

The two Kolkata giants in ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are set to lock horns on Saturday evening in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Saturday evening. But the Mariners will be a bit concerned as their talismanic striker Roy Krishna remains a doubt for the Kolkata derby. Coach Juan Ferrando is not ready to risk the Fijian for the entire 90 minutes but can play a cameo in the second half.

What did Juan Ferrando say?

"We will see with Krishna. The past few weeks have been very difficult for Roy. He was in quarantine all the time. He was missing his family. We trust in him. He is not 100 per cent. Sometimes it is necessary to protect because I would prefer that he misses one game or doesn't play the whole 90 minutes rather than playing one game and missing two-three weeks," he explained.

Ferrando believes that East Bengal's 4-0 defeat to Hyderabad FC was just a bad day at the office and they will be a tough nut to crack in the derby.

"Things have changed a lot with East Bengal. When I watched the last couple of games of East Bengal, I felt that the players are freer and they are more compact. It will not be an easy game. They are pushing really hard.

"I know Fran Sota. He is Spanish. He has good quality. He knows how to find spaces. He will help the team I am sure about that," the Spanish coach stated.

The green and maroon brigade failed to win against Odisha in spite of creating goal-scoring opportunities. The coach feels that there are a couple of areas that his team needs to improve and the transition from defence to attack is certainly one of them.

"We are improving in the possessional attack. However, we have to be confident and take some risk passes. The second point is transition. It is really difficult to improve that. In the last three weeks, they have changed their training methodology as they had been in their rooms. They are trying to do their best. This is the most important thing. 

"It is a pleasure to participate in the derby. It is a blessing. Our target is to get three points and improve our style. Of course, it is emotional but it is important that we don't lose our focus," said the former FC Goa coach.

No time to celebrate even if Bagan wins!

Ferrando will not celebrate even if his troops get the three points against East Bengal. He knows that the job is far from over as Bagan have ground to cover in the title race.

"I know the emotions and feelings of our supporters. We will try to do our best. It is a difficult moment for all of us. I have received a lot of messages from the fans and I hope to win the three points tomorrow. But to be honest, I think I will start preparing for the Mumbai match (even if we win the derby). My dream is to win the league and play in the AFC Champions League. This is my target.

"When I came here to India, I watched a lot of different games. Of course, mostly FC Goa matches, but other teams as well. When I watched the derby it was like wow! In this season, while playing the Durand Cup I had the opportunity to be in the stadium. I know it was 30 per cent of the stadium, but the atmosphere was amazing. I hope that next season we get to play with fans in the stadium and it will be a great experience for me. I am sure the supporters will enjoy if we get the three points against East Bengal," he signed off.