The reverse fixture between these two teams ended in a stalemate.

FC Goa and Odisha FC will eye all three points to keep their playoffs dreams alive when they clash in the Indian Super League 2021-22- on Tuesday. Both teams find themselves at the bottom half of the points table and need victories desperately to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish. Kino Sanchez-coached Odisha FC are eighth in the standings with 17 points from 13 games, while FC Goa are a rung below with 14 points after as many games. Derrick Pereira’s side lost to Jamshedpur FC in their last game. Odisha FC, on the other, enter this clash on the back of a 2-3 loss to Hyderabad FC.

Ahead of the match, coaches Manolo Marquez and Kiko Sanchez spoke to the media and shared their thoughts on the upcoming game.

FC Goa coach Derrick Pereira

Importance of having Brandon Fernandes back in the team

Derrick Pereira: Brandon is one of our key players. We missed him in the first leg due to injury. Now he’s got back. You have seen his presence made a lot of difference in the team. His performance will give us better options going forward and in creating more chances. We need to be more clinical upfront. He’s an integral part of our team for so many seasons. He brings in that quality to our team.

Approach for the next six games

Derrick Pereira: As always, our intent is to go and get those three points in each and every match. From now also, it will be the same. We’ll keep fighting in each and every match. We will never give up. We’ll go there and try to do our best. But there are some basic situations which are beyond our control. Hopefully, if everything goes well like the decisions, we losing focus in between – if we cut off individual mistakes at the back and in front, I think we should get a result in the next match.

Injury Updates

Derrick Pereira: Glan Martins had a training session yesterday. Today, he’ll be training with the team. Hopefully, he will be included in the squad tomorrow. Ortiz is also in the same line. We will be looking at him in today’s training session.”

Do or Die attitude in the last few matches adding pressure to the team’s performance?

Derrick Pereira: This has been our mentality – the winning mentality. We have performed well both defensively and going forward. Yes, individual mistakes have cost us some points. Not only individual mistakes, the decisions by the officials also, have affected our results. We wanted clarification and got a reply from the refereeing department. I’m happy about it.

Going forward, I hope these things will fall in place. About the pressure, it has been there because our mentality is to win each and every match and get into the playoffs. It is a part of our players and our professional life to deliver. We try our best. That’s the satisfaction we get when we go out there and we perform and put in our efforts. I believe that the things will fall in place in the further games.”

Odisha FC coach Kiko Sanchez

Positives from the defeat against Hyderabad FC?

Kino Sanchez: The team is brave to replicate the things that we are trying in training. They have the confidence and they have the will of improving. We are trying to create more chances using spaces and also that the team was in good order when we wanted to press. The players are doing what the staff wants to implement.

Thoughts on the game against FC Goa?

Kino Sanchez: It is going to be a top game. Even FC Goa is not in a good position on the table, I don’t think they deserve that. Depending on how they are playing. They received a goal in an off-side position and they create a lot of chances, they are playing quite well. They also want to keep the ball, in some moments their team is going to struggle because we are not going to have the ball and we will close spaces and we won’t have to disorganize and they can move the ball really well. Our challenge will be to take the ball from them.

With seven games to go, how many wins are you targeting?

Kino Sanchez: As many as we can. If I say seven, I know in football that is impossible. We are not thinking that though, we are thinking of winning against Goa, then focusing on SC East Bengal and going week by week.

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