The Gaurs are currently at the bottom of the standings after three consecutive defeats in the league.
Following three consecutive defeats in the Indian Super League (ISL), it is safe to say that it has not been the ideal start for FC Goa. FC Goa are yet to register a point and are currently sitting at the bottom of the table. In such a situation, with only two days to prepare, Juan Ferrando’s side face 10th-placed SC East Bengal on Tuesday evening.
SC East Bengal have recently earned themselves a point against Chennaiyin FC, after holding the Marina Machans to a goalless draw. The Red and Gold Brigade will be brimming with confidence ahead of their encounter against FC Goa.
The Gaurs, however, have shown signs of bouncing back in their previous match against NorthEast United. Their midfield looked to be the superior side for the majority of the game as Alberto Noguera combined brilliantly with forward Jorge Ortiz Mendoza.
Ahead of their encounter against the Kolkata-based side, FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando and defender Dylan Fox addressed the media in the pre-match press conference.
Understanding with the Spanish Players
FC Goa have five Spaniards in the squad. The coach, himself a Spaniard, may also have a certain understanding with his compatriots. However, he revealed that the nationality of the foreigners are of little interest as he values the entire team.
“The connection is good. It is not because they are Spanish players. In the last season, we worked together. It’s the same team, no change — only except Airam (Cabrera), who joined with the team this season. But I repeat, they are also very important,” he began.
“I always say the same thing; for me it’s one team. This is FC Goa. I’m not thinking about the Spanish players or the Australian players. For me it’s one team. For me, the most important is that everybody has the same way,” he stated.
Positives from last game
Although FC Goa lost their previous match in stoppage time, their performance wasn’t underwhelming. They performed well, compared to the other two encounters against Jamshedpur and Mumbai.
Juan Ferrando opined that the only positive in the ISL is to win a match and get all three points. “To be honest, positive in high performance is to win and get three points. For me, it’s not thinking about whether the style was good or we had a chance. No, for me, the most important is to think about getting three points because it’s our target,” he felt.
“Now, in my point of view, it is about the team to be ready for the next game. Clear the mind, forget the past because it is a difficult moment for the dressing room and the players. Also, when the players are fighting on the pitch as well as in the training session. For me, the most important is the psychology and to be ready for the next game tomorrow,” he continued.
Rating SC East Bengal
Similar to FC Goa, SC East Bengal also have had a difficult start to their campaign. The team is yet to register a win and isn’t looking promising. Speaking about the Kolkata-based side, Juan Ferrando felt they would be a difficult adversary for his side in the upcoming game.
“I think the opponents are difficult in this moment. Firstly, because the most important opponent for us is FC Goa (smiles),” he asserted.
“But tomorrow, the most important thing for us will be to keep control, be patient, control the ball when we are in possession in attack and keep calm. Minute by minute, forget the nervousness and stress because we know (SC) East Bengal is more or less like a new team. For us, the most important thing is to control the timing of the game. In this case, it’s dangerous,” he remarked.
The 40-year-old claimed that SC East Bengal will turn up the same way as NorthEast United, who beat FC Goa 2-1. “They are waiting for these opportunities, waiting for our fouls, our distractions and it’s very important to not repeat the same mistakes,” he quipped.
Benching Edu Bedia
Juan Ferrando made a bold move in the previous game to bench midfield ace Edu Bedia. However, the Spaniard’s absence was not felt for the likes of Glan Martins and Princeton Rebello. The former guarded FC Goa’s defensive fortress and the latter orchestrated the game.
Speaking about the decision, the FC Goa boss stated, “At the end, it is necessary to take new decisions. This is the truth. In the last game, we knew that the pressing of NorthEast is not very high. In this case, we needed more precaution in build-up, so we played both Dylan and Ivan. They know about build-up, they know about our style. It was a really tactical decision.
“For me the most important is to find the balance in the team. Of course, we need to prepare the team in both the styles or when we have our problems to primarily find the solutions. We have a lot of foreign players. In my opinion, they are very good because they can help the team. For me, the most important thing is to choose the best line-up for every game,” the FC Goa boss added.
Problem in creating chances?
FC Goa are looking a bit off-colour in this season. They have played three matches in the campaign, scoring only twice — one of which was by Airam Cabrera, who is expected to miss the next match. The other goal was scored by midfielder Alexander Romario Jesuraj.
Is the team not able to cushion the final passes when the opposition is sitting deep in their half? Or is it the downgraded morale of the team?
“All the time, answer is the same. One point is very important, that is the psychology of the team. And I hope they will be more comfortable on the pitch. Step by step, they will gain confidence, both as individuals and as a team. The rest of the things are not important,” he stated.
“It’s also in the tactical. If the feelings of the players tomorrow are good, surely, the tactical plan will be the best. But the first step for me, is that the players are more confident tomorrow and then step by step surely, we can improve in a lot of details,” he added.
Dylan Fox on partnering with Ivan Gonzalez
Defender Dylan Fox debuted on last Saturday against his former side NorthEast United. For the first time this season, we saw FC Goa fielding a team with two foreign defenders. While this might have been a plan to narrow down the chances of conceding, as they had already conceded six goals in their previous two matches.
“I’m very happy to make my debut for the club. Obviously, disappointed with the result. Ivan and I played together in the defence and obviously, the result was not the best. For the first and second goals, we could have done better. We are focusing on the next game and let’s rectify the result,” he signed off.