The Gaurs are desperate for the three points as they face the Juggernauts on Wednesday.
For FC Goa, the time is now. Anything short of a victory against a crumbling Odisha FC is bound to put things in a precarious situation for Juan Ferrando and his men. A victory will be a welcome a relief for the Spaniard whose side is on a 9-match unbeaten run in the Indian Super League of which eight were draws. He addressed a lot of concerns before the upcoming match along side new signing Glan Martins.
Juan Ferrando has had to deal with lot of injuries and suspensions during the course of the season. “It is necessary to prepare the team accordingly. In all squads there are problems. We have some crucial injuries, but I am not scared because we have a very good squad. The only problem is that we have two days to prepare for the game after the last one against Chennaiyin. I am not concerned about the players because everyone can help the team.”
Impact of Glan Martins
Glan’s timely arrival has filled the void caused by injuries to Brandon (Fernandes) and Princeton (Rebello) and the suspension of Edu Bedia. “I am very happy about Glan. The first thing is he wants to help the team. That is very important. In this dressing room, everybody has to work for the team. He is learning the methodology. His character, his attitude on the pitch and during training is perfect. He knows it is very difficult to play in the first eleven for any ISL squad. So, it is necessary to continue working. Once he understands a few points in press and positional attacking, Glan is sure to improve a lot and in that process to help improve the team.”
Last match against Chennaiyin saw a mix-up between Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem and Mohamed Ali which resulted in the opposition’s second goal. That has been a regular sight for the Gaurs during the matches. “I am worried, but the first point for me is to support them. I talked with them after mistakes and said that it is in the past. The most important thing is to keep working and not to repeat the same. Dheeraj is 20 years old. My target is to support him and to work with him. Because this club believes in the young players. Sometimes there exist problems, but we need to support the players and continue working in the same way,” said Juan Ferrando.
Odisha FC’s mindset
With the chance to qualify for playoffs already off the books, the pressure will not be on Odisha on Wednesday. That makes for an interesting dynamic. The Spaniard quoted, “It is not easy. Now, the Odisha players don’t have pressure on the pitch. In this case, the players play better and enjoy the game. It is a difficult game because these are the last matches. Everybody is thinking about the future. If they put good performances they might get good offers in the future. For us, it is to prepare the plan. Have a strong mentality and be compact. I hope to get three points tomorrow.”
With the business end of the season approaching, the onus is on FC Goa to make the playoffs. The head coach, though, is unfazed. “The pressure for me is the same as the first game against Bengaluru. We are Goa. Our target is to fight in all the games and be in playoffs. In every game, there exists pressure. I think it is good, if we have control over the pressure and the accompanying emotions, it can improve the team. Especially for our young players, if they learn to control the emotions, in future they will be very good.”
Leaky defence and set-piece woes
FC Goa possess a star-studded attacking lineup. On the other hand, despite some rather vastly experienced names, their defence has been shaky in the past few games. The defence has been exposed especially during dead-ball situations. “I think 16 of the 21 goals against us were in set-pieces or penalties. Most of them were in corners or needless fouls. Of course, we need to improve in set-pieces. I am not that concerned as the goals are not because the opponents are better than us. It is necessary to improve on the defensive end during set-pieces. But to improve, we need to learn from our experiences,” Juan Ferrando concluded.
Glan Martins on his journey that led him to FC Goa
Glan Martins has played at Sporting Goa nd Churchill Brothers before playing for ATKMB this season for his first ISL appearance. He is now getting regular playing time at Goa. “Without sacrifices, there is nothing. You need to make sacrifices to gain something. I’m very happy to be home. I’m happy to score goals. And I’m happy with my playing time here. I need to keep improving after every match. Everyone here is helping me a lot. I feel more comfortable here.”
On his wonder goal
Glan’s goal against Mumbai City not only was a spark that initiated a comeback, but also was a mind-boggling effort that could easily win the Goal of The Season accolade. “I am very happy for the goal, but it is in the past. I have to focus on the coming matches. I think I should do more and help my team.”