The Brazilian stressed that his team must build on their win in Pune by picking up another three points against Kerala…

FC Goa will be looking to leapfrog Kerala Blasters FC and move off the bottom of the 2016 Hero Indian Super League table with a win against the Blasters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Tuesday. Goa currently lie at the bottom of the table but head into the clash against Kerala knowing that maximum points can see them move into sixth place.

Addressing the media ahead of the clash in Kochi, Goa’s head coach, Zico batted away suggestions his side wouldn’t mind a draw, insisting his team will be gunning for all three points against Kerala. “No, no never. I always play to win, my philosophy is always to play for a win, I prefer to win a game than draw three games, by draw results you’re still dropping points. No matter wherever you play, you play to win. Goa and Kerala are both in a position where we need a win and we both will be playing our best. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it ends up in a draw, but we play to win,” Zico said

Both teams have endured a rough start to the season as reflected in the league standings. While Goa languish at the bottom, Kerala are currently one place above them. Asked if this allows his players to play with more freedom, Zico said: “No, no. Tomorrow is a different game and every game is different. Even in our style of play we won’t change, we will play the best we can.”

Goa beat Kerala 5-1 in Kochi in Hero ISL 2015 but Zico doesn’t want his players to rest on past laurels and believes that last season’s result will have no bearing on tomorrow’s match. “We don’t dwell on our past too much, we don’t remind ourselves of the result to boost our confidence. But we do acknowledge our opposition and we will try our best to win the game. We are taking it match by match, a win tomorrow puts us in a better position, hence it is up to us to perform.” he said.

Gregory Arnolin, who has been a mainstay in Goa’s defence from the inaugural edition of the league accompanied Zico to the press conference. The robust centre-back from France commented on the improvement in the standard of Indian football since the inception of the league when asked for his thoughts. “I really think that the Indian standards have improved over the years. The quality has increased since the first season I played here, I think we cannot stop now and we must keep working for the league to grow even more. There are a lot of people here with the potential to grow even more,” Arnolin said.

When asked for his thoughts on if Goa can turn things around this season following their slow start, Arnolin added: “I think every year it is a different story, primarily because the work we put in is different every season. I think we will be awarded well at the end of the season because we’re doing everything right and results will come with the work we put in.”

Report and Photo © ISL Media