The Spaniard spoke about his team’s approach to the game and the threat posed by their opponents.
FC Goa are set to play against NorthEast United in their third match of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) season. The Gaurs are still in search of their first victory of the campaign as head coach Juan Ferrando and defender Ivan Gonzalez addressed the media ahead of the encounter. Reflecting on the last two results, Ferrando acknowledged that competing with 10 men for around an hour against Mumbai City FC was a very difficult situation. About the draw against Bengaluru FC, the coach said, “Our mentality is all the time we need three points. So, of course I am not so happy because against Bengaluru in my opinion, we lost two points because we had more opportunities to win the game.”
The tactician was quizzed about how he would alter the team’s approach in the coming game. Ferrando elaborated, “About style you know, every game it depends a lot on the details. In our philosophy, our methodology is the same…to try to build in the game and then more clear space for position in attack. My focus is in this way. But, it sometimes depends on the moment, depends on the minute of the game, depends on the substitution, trying to find a different plan…Plan B, Plan C.”
Goa bounced back after being two goals down against the Blues and dominated in phases against the Islanders too. However, they do not have much to show for their performances so far in the points table. Juan Ferrando was asked whether it is difficult to motivate the players after two underwhelming outcomes.
He replied, “About psychology, it’s no worries because my team knows what happened in the last game. We know about so many mistakes in the game and we learn about it. The team after (the game against) Mumbai come to the hotel and everyone was thinking about NorthEast. They are working. I don’t think people are upset. This is the past and we are thinking in the future. Not so worried because the team is good. Yesterday, training was perfect. Everybody was hard-working, everybody was positive. I am so happy with the team.”
Gonzalez put forth his assessment of their two games too. The Spaniard seemed pleased with Goa’s performance against Bengaluru, as he said, “I think the coach said all the time, in our mind it’s attacking style. I think we controlled both the games. Against Bengaluru was a perfect game for our style, both goals that we scored was our style, which is good for the team.”
Regarding the match against Mumbai, he asserted that the team were more pragmatic after Redeem Tlang’s ousting. Gonzalez believes that the shift in approach speaks volumes of Goa’s ability to alter their style of play according to the situation. “But, for me, I am okay with the team, with the style. Because we can play in both styles.”
The centre-back was probed about his views on the ISL, after having played a few games in the league. “For me, it’s different because I was thinking when I decided to come here to FC Goa, it’s my moment. I think Indian Super League is a good league. Now, in the last two games I can see the level. For me, it’s very good. Indian players I think have different style and different thinking in football. But, I think it’s good. Foreign players are very, very good. Every team has 5-6-7 players and they are very different to Indian players. The level is very good and I am very happy,” Gonzalez responded.
FC Goa are a bit weakened in attack due to the absence of domestic players like Brandon Fernandes and Ishan Pandita. Both of them are battling their own injury concerns and providing an update on their availability, Juan Ferrando revealed, “About Brandon, I am happy because he was training completely. He was completely fit and I am happy with him. About Ishan Pandita, you know he has an infection in his eye. He lost 10 trainings.
“In the last two weeks, there were a lot of problems because it was not possible for him to work on the pitch. The last week he started in training and now day-by-day he is working with the team.” He further quipped, “Now, for Ishan, he needs more training to get high level in performance with the team.”
Lastly, the head coach was asked to comment on his expectations from Gerard Nus’ team. “I am expecting NorthEast in the last two games, they are very aggressive in attack. Their style is very, very clear. They have very good wingers, aggressive, good dribbling, they find space and they fight in 90 minutes,” Ferrando replied. He particularly highlighted Idrissa Sylla’s wealth of experience and qualities as a forward, that have to be consciously countered by Goa.