Mohun Bagan Super Giant will face Maziya FC in their second AFC Cup group game in Kolkata on Monday. Mohun Bagan who defeated Odisha FC in their first match by 4-0 will face a confident opponent in Maziya FC who thrashed Basundhara FC in their first match in Maldives. Maziya FC coach Milomir Seslija gave big statements ahead of the game in the press conference while Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando sounded cautious ahead of the game.
Milomir Seslija in the press conference told the media that they have nothing to lose in this away fixture and they know they will go against one of the heavyweights of Indian football. Although he knows they will start as the second favourites, fe admitted Maziya will not come to the field looking sacred against the Mariners.
"I'm really impressed with the draw. A difficult game against a difficult opponent. They are fantastic attacking-wise. We are here to play football, try to get something and see our progress. We have nothing to lose, we are not scared. We have noted their strengths and everything is on us to play with courage and be better than the last game as everything is measured by results."
"The adjustment to climate and environment is different from India and Maldives. In football, you can't have so many excuses, you need to be ready for any conditions. Football is a sport where anyone has a chance to win. You can score by shooting on goal. They are a very good squad with quality national team players. We didn't come here to play defensive football. If we can put pressure, we can score goals. We're here to win and will try to give our best."
Talking about his tactics, Maziya's coach did not want to reveal anything before the Mohun Bagan match. However, one thing that he ensured was that his team would attack more and would go for full points in Kolkata. As per coach Milomir, if they can attack against the Mohun Bagan defence, they would have a good chance to win the game.
"'I don't think any coach will say any tactical thing. We must be compact not just in defence but also in attack. If we attack, we have a chance to win. We'll try to attack them. Attack is the best form of defence for me. I believe in my players and I came to Maldives to show that they have better players than they believe. They are a good team but they have weaknesses that we'll look to exploit."
But, Milomir is cautious about Mohun Bagan's six players in the attacking and knows what kind of threat those six players can bring against them in their AFC Cup 2023 clash.
"The strongest point is that they're very good attacking-wise and attack with six players. They get a lot of players inside the box. In the ISL, all the teams are scared of Mohun Bagan and they give them too much respect. They're scoring a lot of goals and he (Juan Ferrando) has good tactics. When you can see the physical and technical aspects, they have an advantage as they are playing games regularly. But we'll see this is football. We'll see at the moment where we are and what we can do in the future. We only played at our 50% potential in the last game. We haven't shown any of our utmost potential yet," the coach went on to add.
While giving the injury update, the coach told the media that he would miss three of his main players in the Mohun Bagan vs. Maziya FC game. Maziya's goalkeeper Hussain Sareef, captain Samooh Ali and winger Balabanovic are set to miss the game due to injuries.
"I have 17 players today. If I had 20, it would be best. The travel is becoming stressful for the players and a lot of injuries are happening because of that. When you have more players in the squad, it becomes easier to coach the team."
The coach concluded by adding, "My first goalkeeper is injured. My captain defender is injured and my striker is injured. We have a few out due to injury because we don't want to get them injured. The national players didn't have a good start, but I think they're getting better and have new motivation. It's a tough match but we'll give our best."