The FC Goa tactician also heaped praise upon winger Redeem Tlang.

FC Goa will be up against Mumbai City in their next Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 contest. The fixture will take place at the Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai on Thursday, 1 December 2022. Carlos Pena’s men are sitting in the fifth position on the league table going into this fixture against the current league leaders.

With four wins and three defeats in the first seven matches of the season, FC Goa are searching for consistency. Their last match against Bengaluru FC saw them concede a 2-0 defeat in their own backyard. Therefore, the club will hope to perform well against MCFC in their upcoming match.

Carlos Pena, the head coach, along with winger Redeem Tlang took part in the pre-match press conference. They took questions from the media and presented their thoughts in an honest way. Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

Performance so far

Commenting on the team’s performance so far in the campaign, Carlos Pena said, “The start has been good. I think we are in a good position after seven games. Of course, we have to improve on many things…I think the team is in a good dynamic. I can see improvement in the squad from the first game. We have to keep on working hard and believing in ourselves.”

On opponents Mumbai City

The tactician admits that Mumbai City is a good team. While talking about their next opponents, he said, “We are facing a very good team. I think they are doing a very good season. It is the second season they are with the same coach and you can see in the way they play they know themselves. I think they have started the season in a very good way.”

On Redeem Tlang

Carlos Pena was full of praise for the winger who joined him at the press conference. “Redeem is a player that shows a lot of commitment and hard work during every training session. Tactically, he is a very good player. He helps us a lot with his energy. I think Redeem gives us a lot of things and because he is deserving, he is getting a lot of minutes with us,” he said while praising Redeem’s work ethic and qualities. 

On having more time between games

Carlos Pena feels thankful that there is more time in between games this year. While expressing his contentment with the organisation, he said, “Yes of course it is much better because we have more time to recover the players and to analyse previous games. Time is always important for coaches, teams and for the process.”

The mood in the dressing room

Losing against Bengaluru FC was a demoralising experience for the Gaurs. Explaining the mood inside the dressing room post that result and prior to the visit to Mumbai, Pena said, “The last loss (against Bengaluru FC) was very painful for us because we were excited about the chance of being at home against Bengaluru. Everybody is ready in the locker room to play against Mumbai. We know that it is going to be a tough game for us and for them.”

Redeem Tlang on enjoying gametime

The 27-year-old is thankful for more minutes on the pitch and wants to work hard this year. He said, “My first and half of last season were not good. As you can see, this season, thanks to coach Carlos (Pena), I have been getting chances. I just need to continue working hard and make use of the chances that the coach gives me.”

Playing with experienced foreigners

FC Goa has a good roster of foreign players who possess a lot of experience. Talking about playing with them, Tlang said, “They help me a lot, especially in training. Everyone – Iker (Guarrotxena), Edu (Bedia), Noah (Sadaoui) and Alvaro (Vazquez). They help us, they guide us, not only me but every young player and that helps the team.” 

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