The FC Goa head coach also revealed that keeping more possession will be key against the Emirati outfit on Saturday.

After their AFC Champions League debut on Wednesday, FC Goa take on Al Wahda FC in their next game on Saturday in Goa. The Gaurs will hope to build on their positive start to the ACL campaign following an impressive draw against Al Rayyan. Ahead of the game, FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando and midfielder Glan Martins spoke in the pre-match press conference.

The Gaurs showed a lot of grit in the previous fixture to get the draw, however, the ISL outfit will certainly look for three points on Saturday. Unlike FC Goa, Al Wahda lost their ACL opening game against Persepolis and are also looking to get back to the winning ways in their next fixture. 

Thoughts on the previous game’s result

Juan Ferrando once again expressed concern on improving more against Al Wahda on Saturday.

“I think the score was good because we played against a tougher team (against Al Rayyan). But, of course, we want to improve more and continue in the same way. It’s necessary to have control in some details in attack because we did not have success in that part.”

Areas of improvement 

The tactician has been talking about the need to improve in each game in various areas. Reiterating on the subject, Juan Ferrando opined, “For us it’s necessary to improve on a lot of points. We know about our quality of the squad, and we need to improve like a team. Sometimes it’s important to control the space. The solution is to play every season in the Champions League.”

“For me, it’s not a problem, it’s amazing. But, I think it’s a good opportunity for the players because when you play six games in this level, they understand about positional attack, timing of their press, control & transitions. For us, it’s a masterclass every game,” he added.

Need to be mentally strong

Juan Ferrando also opined that he expects the players to be mentally strong, not only against Al Wahda, but for all of the upcoming games.

“It is necessary to change some details (in the next game), the style of Al Rayyan is different. The problem for everybody is to change players’ minds and mentality because tomorrow we have an amazing game.

“Sometimes it’s important to control the emotions, the mentality of the team. For me it’s very important for everybody to put attention, I don’t like only one game, I would like it to work for six games.”

A new plan against Al Wahda

The 40-year-old also mentioned that the team will need to adjust their approach when they face Al Wahda on Saturday.

“Al Rayyan is in the past, our target is the next game. I know their coach, I know their style, I know their attacking style. Tomorrow, we need a new plan. If we keep the ball, it is very difficult for Al Wahda to attack,” Juan Ferrando quipped.

Glan Martins on his experience so far

FC Goa midfielder Glan Martins accompanied Juan Ferrando in the press conference. The 26-year-old revealed how playing alongside superior overseas players gives him confidence.

“Playing with Edu (Bedia), (James) Donachie, Ivan (Gonzalez) – all these players gives you more motivation to go out there and do your best, even if you make a mistake, they are there behind you to help.

“Even before the match, it was like let’s help each other. Now we have to focus on the next match, we have to take the same motivation and momentum in the next match also.”

Difference in quality of ACL and ISL 

Martins was quizzed regarding the difference of quality between the AFC Champions League and the Indian Super League.

“We all know ACL matches are very competitive, standard is also very high compared to the ISL matches. I think as a team in the first match, we have done well. The level is different but we have to just keep going,” he answered.

Hope to represent India

The 26-year-old also revealed his aim to play for India since moving to FC Goa.

“Yes, I am hoping (to be called up to the national team) but I have to work harder, one match does not make me a good player. I have to maintain my good work for a longer time.”

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