The tactician spoke ahead of his team’s crucial clash against Kerala Blasters.

FC Goa will face Kerala Blasters in their next Indian Super League 2020-21 fixture. Juan Ferrando and Co are in the running for the playoffs and must maintain their consistency when they face Kibu Vicuna’s men.

The Blasters will be high on confidence after a victory over Bengaluru FC in their last game. The match between the two will be high on entertainment. The coach and full-back Seriton Fernandes interacted with the media ahead of the match.

Seriton Fernandes on performances

The full-back was asked about his recent performances and if he is content. He answered, “Yes, I am happy, but I want to give my best. I want to improve day-by-day in the practice sessions and in the match also. I will focus on the next matches (to improve).”

Changed approach towards tackles

He also talked about the fewer number of tackles he has made as compared to other seasons. He said, “Every coach has a different idea. Some coaches don’t like (tackles). I am not saying he (Ferrando) does not like it, but I avoid my tackling because of the poor refereeing.” 

Mood within dressing room

Juan Ferrando was asked about the mood of the players and if the team believes in the attainability of not just playoffs, but the top two positions as well. He responded, “Of course, we want to be in the first position, but again we are a new team, it’s a new chapter and most important for us is to remain focused game after game.”

Mentality of camp

FC Goa have shown resilience in the season so far, winning more than half of their points from losing positions. Talking about the mentality of his players, the tactician said, “We are a team, we are professionals, this is football, to fight until the last minute. If one player on the pitch is not fighting until the last minute, they know they won’t play more in the starting lineup or the squad. The first most important step is to fight all the time and then it could be a win, draw or a loss,” he further added.

A word on opponents

The Spaniard was asked about how the upcoming game against KBFC might pan out, given their recent resurgence in terms of form. He responded, “Tomorrow is a very difficult game because Kerala’s last two games’ performance was very good. They have different plans, not just one. They try to attack free spaces, fight for the second balls. But, I hope it will be a very good game because they have a very good squad.” 

Ishan Pandita’s involvement

Ishan Pandita has played important cameo roles from the bench, scoring an important goal in the last match too. When asked about why he has not featured in the starting lineup, Juan Ferrando explained, “It’s the same with young players. There are two options, protect the players and help them or play them 2-3 games before they are injured. Goa is a club that wants to work with the young players and they need to improve a lot.”

Mohammad Nawaz & Igor Angulo’s absence from starting lineup

Both Igor Angulo and Mohammad Nawaz did not feature against ATK Mohun Bagan in the previous game. The tactician was asked if this was a tactical move, to which he responded, “Mohammad Nawaz, as everybody knows, his future is not in Goa. Igor was not feeling good, he had some problem in his stomach and the second game was the same. He is not 100% fit to help the team.”

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