The interim coach insisted that there is no pressure on the players in the dressing room.
FC Goa are aiming to get back to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL), as they host playoffs hopefuls Mumbai City FC on Wednesday. The Gaurs are currently tied on points with league leaders ATK, but need to win their remaining games, while hoping the Kolkata side drop points, in order to secure the coveted top spot. Interim head coach Clifford Miranda agreed with opposition manager Jorge Costa on how the game will be between two teams with different objectives.
Yet, he also insisted that his team cannot let up at this crunch point of the season. “I think he’s (Jorge Costa) stated correctly. It’s going to be two teams with two different objectives. They want to stay in top four, we want to be at the top spot. But, the pressure will be on both the teams.”
Thoughts On The Game
“The intensity is higher as compared to the other games. After this, we have just one game left, so there is no margin for error. We have no margin to say that we have 5-6 games left. The margin for error is very less. So, it’s a game which is going to be very intense and very difficult for us,” added Clifford Miranda.
The former India international also suggested that the pressure is more on league leaders ATK than the Gaurs, as they are better placed to finish the league stage on top. “For us, the equation is simple, win our two games and see what happens with ATK. There are three teams battling for the top spot which is Bengaluru, us and ATK. For me, the team which is placed best to finish at the top is ATK.”
“For them, the equation is simple. Win two games and you finish at the top. For us, we need to win our two games. Our focus is on us. Let’s try to win our two games and see what happens. But, for me, the pressure is on ATK. It’s their title to lose, so the pressure is on them, not us,” he added.
Dressing Room Environment
Further, Clifford Miranda shrugged off any suggestions that there is unrest in the dressing room, stating that they’re the same as they were under Sergio Lobera and even thanking the former head coach. He explained, “I don’t know whether they were angry. But, when I came back from Germany, it was the same when I left. When I left I saw them on a positive note. When I arrived back, I couldn’t see a difference. So, whatever is happening, whatever pressure is being put is external. It’s not within the dressing room or the team.”
“I think they’re in the same condition as they were three weeks back. The players are in good spirits, they are raring to go and with one aim to win the games and finish at the top. Whatever has happened is out of our control. The management has made it clear that we’re thankful to Sergio for whatever he’s done. There’s no negativity at all in the club.”
Mumbai City’s Threat
Clifford Miranda also called for caution against the unpredictable Mumbai City, who have 14 different goal-scorers this season and insisted they won’t look to target anyone specific. “They have 14 different scorers this season. So, we can’t target any specific player or give special attention to someone. That means we need to take care of their entire team. Anyone is capable of scoring for them.”
“There won’t be any special attention to any player, but how tactically organized we are and how much we can neutralize their tactical approach. We need to be on top of them, which is normal for us,” concluded Clifford Miranda.
Hugo Boumous’ Improvement And Shoutout To Fans
Attacking midfielder Hugo Boumous stated the reason for his improvement this season, explaining, “It was tough for me last season. This season I’ve played more, I’ve started every game and we know each other more, having played together for two years. So, it’s easier for me to create chances, score goals. I’m trying to do my best to help the team get three points in each game.”
Boumous also called for FC Goa supporters to come and rally the troops in their remaining home matches. He said, “I enjoyed the Hyderabad FC game as I was able to score that goal and to show to the fans that I was happy. We really want to finish at the top this season and we need the support from them to boost us. We need them to be at the stadium to support us as it’s very important. There are still two games, one against Mumbai and a semi-final, so we need our supporters to support us in our journey.”
The Gaurs go into the match with a fully fit squad, with no injuries plaguing them right now.
FC Goa have faced off against the Islanders 13 times in the ISL, winning six of those games and Mumbai winning four. Their battles have normally been goal-fests, something which the fans will be hoping to witness on Wednesday.
Nawaz, Seriton, Fall, Pena, Mandar, Jahouh, Lenny, Boumous, Jackichand, Brandon, Corominas.
The game will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa on Wednesday. It will be broadcast live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD and be available to stream on Hotstar and Jio TV.