The Gaurs face a must-win game against the Lions who are themselves looking to avoid finishing bottom of the table.
FC Goa hosts Delhi Dynamos FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Wednesday. The Gaurs have just a point to show from their last four fixtures, a run of form that has seen them drop to sixth in the league standings. They also come off the back of two consecutive defeats, having failed to score in either tie. Speaking to the media during the pre-match press conference was their head coach Sergio Lobera, and he revealed the game-plan for the next few fixtures and the motivating factor for the same.
“I think we have to live in the reality, and the reality is that tomorrow is the first of the four games we are playing as a final,” he stated. “And we have to get three points from that. The motivation would be that if we get the win tomorrow, we will still be depending on ourselves. I think we can achieve something big this year, and we are four wins away from that.”
Regarding how he planned to shape his team for the final phase of the league stage, Lobera said: “We try to play every game in the best possible way. The most important thing is to be loyal to ourselves. We have a good team, which we have demonstrated throughout the course of the season. And we have to demonstrate the same in the final phase.”
The Spaniard also shrugged off claims that Goa’s 5 – 1 win over Delhi earlier on in the season would have an impact in their upcoming tie. “For me, every game is different,” he remarked. “Whatever happened in the past cannot be compared to what is going to happen now. We are playing against a team that plays good football, and who deserve more points than they have got. So, the game tomorrow will be tough.”
Before concluding, the 41-year-old also revealed how he selected his team for a particular fixture.
“Every week, I pick the best possible eleven that I think will suit us,” Lobera said. “For this, I don’t look at what they did in the past. For this, I look at them day to day and see what they demonstrate to me, and from there I pick the best. The squad is a very good one, and everybody needs to wait for their moment and opportunity.”
Delhi Dynamos FC take on FC Goa in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 on Wednesday. The Lions, who have had a season of woes, have picked themselves up of late, and are unbeaten in their last two fixtures, the last of which resulted in a 1 – 0 at NorthEast United FC.
Though their hopes of making it to the semifinals are up in smoke, a win against the Gaurs will take them to the eighth position in the league standings, a welcome change after being rooted to the bottom for a long time. Addressing the media during the pre-match press conference was the Delhi’s head coach Miguel Angel Portugal, and he stated that his team had improved recently with the last two results being proof.
“We always played very well, but we ended up losing,” he said. “That is the problem for my team. But in the last two matches, we again played well but managed to draw and win respectively. And I have confidence in all my players. The next few matches are like a final for us. And we want to win all the matches.”
Portugal further explained: “When we played during the first part of the season, a few of the players understood the philosophy. But now, I think we have improved very much. Now, the team is more confident.”
The Spaniard also mentioned that he was looking for nothing less than a win against the Gaurs. “I know it is a very important match for them (Goa), but for me, the most important thing is a win,” he remarked. “We have to win for our president because he has endured a bad season and I want him to be happy. And for that, we need to win.”
Romeo Fernandes had played his previous seasons in the Hero ISL with his home side Goa but had to make a switch to Delhi this time after the team from the capital city roped him at the Player’s Draft. Portugal was quick to indicate that he was one player who had vastly improved since the initial phase.
“When Romeo started off with us, his performance was not up to the mark, and he was not a regular,” he stated. “But now, he is a regular player in the team and has improved a lot. I have a lot of confidence in him, and he is a very important player for our team.”
The 62-year-old was also bemused at the set of fixtures ahead of his team, and he wrapped up by saying, “We play the next four matches in 10 days. So, I need to keep changing my players. I don’t understand the league programme, but for me, I need to change the players. It is impossible for one player to play four matches in 10 days.”