The Spaniard spoke about the development of the squad in the past months.

FC Goa take on Bengaluru FC in a crucial match in the Indian Super League. Both teams have a chance to qualify for the playoffs, but the Gaurs currently hold the upper hand due to their higher position in the table. The Blues need to win both matches to stand a chance, while Juan Ferrando and his men also need two victories in two to ensure playoffs football this season.

The game ahead

Both playoffs aspirants will be aiming for victory. Juan Ferrando feels that an interesting tussle is on the cards. “Of course, it is a difficult game. For them and for us, it is important to get three points. Bengaluru need six points in the last two games.

“It will be a good game because the two teams will be looking for victory. The two teams have the same mentality and want to get three points. It is going to be an emotional game.”

Much-needed three points against Odisha

The 10-game unbeaten run got finally christened with a timely win against Odisha FC last time around. The Gaurs will be looking to maintain the same momentum. “It was good for us to take three points. The dressing room is better. The anxiousness and stress is out of the dressing room.

“Game-by-game, when you are getting only one point it is difficult. It was very good for us because it was possible to continue fighting for a playoffs position.  At the end, it is possible to achieve our target in the semi-finals of the ISL.”

Jorge Ortiz’s new role

 Jorge Ortiz has adopted a new free role for the Gaurs, but Juan Ferrando deems that as a result of opponent-specific tactics. “All the players can improve. This is our target. You have to improve like a team. In the future, (Jorge) Oritz can help more. Training-by-training and game-by-game, connections are formed and we get to know about everyone’s positive details.

“The positions change depending on the opponent and the space. At the end this is my job, to determine the best plan. It is important for players to understand that there are different roles inside the pitch.”

Development of squad

The coach also lamented the lack of time to help the squad improve to the extent he had envisioned. “I am sad because it has been difficult to improve. There are a lot of injuries and red cards. These problems exist with all the teams. In this case, our improvement was not exponential.

“Our improvement was very slow. Last month was especially difficult, as a lot of players had injuries and suspensions. It was difficult for us to work. I am not 100% happy because in my mind, the limit of this team is very high.”

Ishan Pandita’s improvement

Youngster Ishan Pandita has been a vital cog for Juan Ferrando, scoring timely goals to help the Gaurs. “I am happy because he is good in the final third. It is very important for him to improve on a lot of details. If he wants to play 90 minutes, it is necessary that he understands the timing of the press, the space of the press and lot of similar details.

“He is working. He is improving step-by-step. I am not sorry because he is young. The most important thing is they understand about football.”

Edu Bedia’s show cause notice

FC Goa’s Edu Bedia was issued a show cause notice by the AIFF Disciplinary Committee for unsporting behaviour, but was later letgo without any further sanctions. “I think the most important thing is to make sure everyone knows the truth. I am very happy with him because he is our leader on the pitch.

“At the end, everyone needs to know the truth. The most important thing is to continue working together without suspensions or rumours. He is working and ready to play with the team,” the Spaniard concluded.

Princeton Rebello on comeback from injury

Princeton Rebello had suffered a minor injury that forced him to sit out a crucial stretch of games. “For me, it was difficult after the injury. The coach motivated me and told me that I’ll get to play. I wanted to play every match. I came in and gave my best. We won that match and I am happy because we got three points. From now on, we are looking to win the remaining matches.”

On his journey so far

Princeton featured for the developmental side of the Gaurs before finally getting his big break this season. “At the start, it was a bit difficult. For any young player, it might get difficult to start. You never know when your time will come. The coach believed in me and helped me to improve.

“So far, I’m doing good. I want to improve more. Jumping from the development team to the first-team is something I am proud of. Any youngster will want to be where I am today. I hope there will be more youngsters coming in.”

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