ATK Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando sounded very proud of his team after they ended up group winners in Group D following their 5-2 victory against Maldives side Maziya Sports and Recreation Club in what was their final group stage game of the AFC Cup 2022 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Joni Kauko scored a brace while Roy Krishna, Subhasish Bose and Carl McHugh all found the back of the net to lead a comfortable win for the Mariners on the evening.
This win meant ATK Mohun Bagan made it to the Inter-zonal semi-final of the AFC Cup for a second successive season.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Ferrando hailed his team and supporters as he said, "I'm happy for the players and our supporters. Because in the last six days we read a lot of bad words about the club. I read some news that was very disappointing.
"But this club is a big club because we have respect for the opponents. In the end, the best way to reply to them is by playing good football, not in press conferences."
Revealing his thoughts on finishing top of the group and firing shots at some of their opponents' behaviour, Ferrando said, "To be honest, if you check all the stats, you’ll get the answer. The most important thing is that we have respect for our opponents. Some people have no respect for other clubs. And it is not good because football is an amazing game it should be enjoyed.
ATK Mohun Bagan will feature in the Inter-zonal semi-final on either 20th or 21st of September.