The Gaurs have failed to win their last two games in the league.
Ahead of the game on Tuesday, the coaches of both teams met with the media to discuss their points of view and other opinions.
Pradyum Reddy (FC Pune City)
Pune got a rare win in the last game against the Blasters and talking about the mood in the dressing room since the result Pradyum Reddy spoke about how the players are happy with it and that they will make sure not to repeat a few mistakes from the previous games. He also spoke on how the team is looking to build on the good form from the last game and hopefully be in a positive moment before entering the big break.
The interim coach went for an unusual 3-4-3 formation in the last game, but in the dying minutes, there was a lot of pressure on the defence and when asked whether the same would work against Goa he smiled and said, “Well, that’s the thing, you’ll have to wait and see it tomorrow.”
He continued saying, “Given the size of the pitch in Kochi, it was the right approach to the game. More than just defending, we created a lot of chances in the first 20 minutes, especially for Ashique [Kuruniyan] who had a lot of opportunities. We tried to put the game to bed early. Obviously in the last stages, all our fatigue, humidity and travel had a toll on us which forced us to play five players in the defence rather than the previous three. But, we kept our first clean-sheet of the season, so it definitely worked.”
Furthermore, Reddy was asked whether there were any updates on a new coach to be appointed by the club to which he answered, “I cannot talk about that because I don’t make those decisions and you’ll probably have to ask the right person about it.”
Coming back to talk about the game on Tuesday, the coach spoke about how Goa were the top scorers in the last season and that they scored four goals past Pune when they met the last time.
“The way they set out to play, they are an attacking team. So, we have to deal with the threat they pose and at the same time we need to make sure that we pose a threat for them too.”
Jesus Tato (FC Goa)
The assistant coach addressed the media on behalf of head coach Sergio Lobera. Tato was a player at Pune City a couple of seasons ago and talking about whether that stands as an advantage to his team he said, “First of all thank you for welcoming me here and I’m happy to be back here. There are a few players in Pune from my time, but overall it’s a different team and I don’t think it will be of any advantage for the team as such.”
Talking about the big break which the team will enter after a couple of games and whether it would be good or bad the Spaniard said, “I don’t think I’m in a position to speak about the break as such, as I don’t think that is an option because the national team has to play their competition during that time. So, it is not in our hands to do anything.”
“What I can talk about is that we have two games before the break and we have worked hard to stay in the top four. It is not easy because the other teams have played a game more than us. So, we want to focus more on these games and stay in the top four as we go into the break.”
Goa have scored the most number of goals in the season so far (22), while Pune have conceded the joint-most (21). So, speaking about that Tato said, “Firstly, thank you for giving us the title of best attack in the league and secondly, I don’t think tomorrow’s game will be easy for us, as Pune have recently won their last game and that will have given them a lot of confidence.”
“Tomorrow’s game is very important for us and we will go out there with the same sensation and the same feelings. We’ll try to give our 100% till the last minute and like I said, it is not going to be an easy game at all because they (Pune) are a strong team. So, we’ll try to go out there and return with the three points,” he signed off.
FC Pune City
The Stallions will miss Chhuantea Fanai due to injury and Sahil Panwar due to suspension, while the rest of the squad is fit and available for selection.
Everybody is fit and available for selection for the Gaurs.
FC Pune City:
Kamaljit (GK), Sarthak, Mills, Ashutosh, Ashique, Vila, Adil, Tamang, Hume, Robin, Marcelinho.
Nawaz (GK), Pena, Sana, Fall, Seriton, Lenny, Jahouh, Jackichand, Bedia, Brandon, Corominas.
Did You Know?
- The Stallions’ skipper Marcelinho has scored five goals (joint-most) against the Gaurs.
- Goa have scored eight goals in their last two matches against Pune City.
- Pune will have to win each and every game from now on to stand a chance of getting into the top four.
The game will be played live from 7:30 pm at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune and will be broadcasted on Star Sports Network, Jio TV and Hotstar.