Mohun Bagan Super Giant head coach Juan Ferrando said they will try to win Kolkata derbies but their real target will be to win trophies, ahead of the upcoming Indian Super League. Mohun Bagan lifted the ISL 2022-23 season after beating Bengaluru FC on penalties and would aim to replicate the same success.
Juan Ferrando’s recently also lifted the Durand Cup after beating arch-rivals East Bengal by 1-0 in the final. Thus, the Mariners were able to kick off their season on a high and would look to continue the good show.
When Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal met each other in the last edition of the ISL, the former won on both occasions by 2-0.
“In the case of Mohun Bagan, we are a big club with a lot of trophies. We’re talking about Mohun Bagan because of the trophies won,” Ferrando said at the ISL Media Day in Kolkata.
“The Kolkata Derby is important and I know how important to win the derby. In the Durand Cup, I would’ve preferred to lose the group game and win the trophy, which we did. The trophies are important to build history, so we need to keep that in mind. We try to win the derbies, but our real target is to win trophies for this club,” he added.
Mohun Bagan has added players like Sahal Abdul Samad and Anirudh Thapa. Furthermore, they have made foreign signings of Jason Cummings, Hector Yuste, and Armando Sadiku.
Ferrando is hopeful of hitting the ground running in the upcoming season.
“It’s obviously difficult. But I’m happy to have such a good squad. This is a new challenge for us to retain the title. I hope we become the first team this time to retain the ISL trophy this year,” he said.
The Spaniard admitted the ISL is getting tougher with every edition as the teams are getting stronger.
“I think Odisha has a great squad and they won the trophy last season. They have the strongest squad today and have recruited new players really well. 9-10 teams are ready to fight for the first position and the top six reach the final stages. It’s difficult to explain which teams are the favorites, because a lot of teams are ready. The teams are ready to reach the final and the top 6,” he concluded.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant will begin their ISL campaign against new entrant Punjab FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata on Saturday.