The FC Goa head coach also praised the facilities at Jamshedpur FC.
FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC have witnessed contrasting fortunes this season. While the Goan outfit are currently place sixth in the ISL 2022-23 standings with 18 points after 10 games, Jamshedpur FC are languishing at 10th with only four points. Carlos Pena’s side got the better of the Men of Steel earlier in the season, overthrowing them with a 3-0 scoreline and will hope to repeat the feat.
Head coach Carlos Pena attended the pre-match press conference praising the ISL Shield holders for stepping up their game since the result. The Spaniard also said that he has a lot of respect for Jamshedpur FC despite their results, but stated that his team needs to focus on themselves and not the opposition.
Goa had a brilliant outing the last time out as they hammered three past Aidy Boothroyd’s side in the reverse fixture. However, the head coach thinks it’ll be different this time around as he mentioned:
“Well, I expect a different game than the first leg. There we had a great performance, but with Jamshedpur FC, many things have changed since then. They have changed their foreign players and more or less, it’s going to be a different game.”
Despite the advantage of form they have over the former league winners, Carlos Pena has the utmost respect for his opponents. Speaking about the quality of the game, their playing style and how many goals they think they’ll score, he mentioned:
“We have come here to get the three points. We respect Jamshedpur FC a lot. It’s true that they are not in a good momentum but they have lost games due to small differences and small details. We respect them, their coach, their players and we will try to be our best versions to get the three points because it’s an important game for us.”
He added, “They have not started the season badly, they won their second game at home but nobody expected them to be in the position that they are in now because they won the League Winners’ Shield (last season). They have retained some players from the previous season and have signed some new players in this transfer window. It is going to be a tough game for us.”
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The Spaniard praised Jamshedpur regarding the football culture and it’s importance as a hub of Indian Football. Speaking about the city and a few more things, Pena said:
“Jamshedpur is a very important place for Indian football. The facilities you have here around the stadium, they have a good academy and good, young players who have improved. And the first team has good players. When I was a player, it was not easy to win or play against Jamshedpur FC. And now as a coach, I feel the same. The culture of football has grown in Jamshedpur FC and I enjoy being here and training in these facilities. I will try to enjoy Thursday’s game.”
The Arsenal Academy graduate has been a pivotal player for Jamshedpur ever since he joined. Speaking about him, Carlos Pena said that they will be wary but he also mentioned:
“Yes, I have noticed that he has been playing more minutes compared to when we played against them in the first leg. He is an important player in the tactics that the coach has. He is having more minutes and more importance (in the team). We know that he is a very important player for Jamshedpur FC. But we are going to focus on ourselves and intensity. We will try to play our best and try to beat Jamshedpur FC but we are not focusing too much on them, but thinking more about ourselves.”