The FC Goa boss also added that the objective is to get three points on Thursday.

FC Goa will face Emirati outfit Al Wahda in their final group stage match in the AFC Champions League on Thursday. The Gaurs have been impressive in their debut campaign in the competition, holding their own against tougher oppositions. Ahead of the game against Al Wahda, FC Goa boss Juan Ferrando spoke in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

Concentration is key

The 40-year-old suggested that despite the difficulty, FC Goa needs to be focused and be competitive against Al Wahda.

“We know that it’s a difficult game because Al Wahda have a good chance to finish in top position. We prepare one plan but it’s difficult because of problems with players (having) injuries, they are very tired.”

“But, of course our target is to be competitive in the next game and try to get three points,” he added.

Good tactical decisions

Juan Ferrando reiterated the need to make good tactical decisions in their forthcoming game.

“The most important thing is to make the best decisions. Sometimes, we are thinking about who is better on the pitch, who helps the team more in a moment. But, the problem is for example a player is not 100% (fit) on the pitch, he’s exhausted. In this case, we need to prepare.”

Approach against Al Wahda

The previous game between FC Goa and Al Wahda was an exciting affair, with both sides creating a number of chances. Speaking whether the Gaurs can win the next game, Juan Ferrando felt it would be difficult.

“In football, we need to think (about) three points. It’s going to be difficult, it’s a great opportunity for Al Wahda to participate in the next round.”

“For us, we are thinking about the third position. We can’t think this is the last game and relax. This is the Champions League, we need to be strong and participate, find the best XI tomorrow and prepare a tactical plan.”

Impact of foreign players in planning

The Spaniard also revealed the impact of overseas players, keeping the 3+1 foreigners’ quota in mind.

“For me the plan is the same for everybody. Of course, working with foreign players is easy because they have worked in academies and different teams. For the local players and me, we need more time. Never do I think about a plan and think about whether we have five foreign players. At the end, we have players, no foreign or local players.”

Thoughts on Adil Khan

FC Goa will miss the services of Ivan Gonzalez, who will be unavailable due to suspension against Al Wahda. Adil Khan is the most experienced option Juan Ferrando will have as a replacement.

“He (Adil) is a very good player because his mentality is very strong. He has been working with us for months. I’m sure tomorrow he will do the best with this team,” the FC Goa head coach quipped.

Seriton Fernandes on the ACL

Fernandes has been one of the most consistent players for FC Goa in the AFC Champions League this season. The 28-year-old gave his verdict on the ACL, terming it ‘difficult’ for the presence of many good teams.

“In the Champions League, there are many good teams. So, it’s difficult to play. We have to focus on the next match and prepare to win,” he said. 

Message for the fans

The right-back also explained the importance of the fans and reiterated that he misses them on the stands.

“As I always say, fans are the twelfth man for us. If they are there, it’s a different feeling. I really miss them.”

“If we win the match, I will dedicate it to my fans and the whole of India which is suffering from COVID-19. We just want to win because of them,” he added.

The best right back in India?

Seriton Fernandes is regarded one of the best full-backs in the country. Quizzed about it, he responded in a rather light manner.

“Yes (giggles), I always think like that because before going to the match, you have to believe in yourself. I always think that I am the best right back in India,” he concluded.

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