The FC Goa boss met the press in Guwahati yesterday…

Last season’s finalists FC Goa kick-start their Indian Super League campaign against NorthEast United FC and ahead of the game legendary manager Zixo met the press yesterday.

“All our players need games now. It’s one thing to play in friendlies in preseason and another to play in a tournament. We have injuries but we are used to it. We are prepared to play now,” the coach said.

FC Goa seems worst effected by injuries this season as they are going to miss the services of Robin Singh, Gregory Arnolin, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Luciano Sabrosa and Denzil Franco. These players have not travelled with the team to Guwahati.

“Some of our players have knee injuries. In the process of recovering and not playing for a long time, when they started to play, they developed other problems,” Zico said. “All the players who have come here with us are fit to play”, he further added.

On his team’s unbeaten record against the Highlanders, he said,” Every year is a different story, what happened in the past, we don’t worry. We are playing for a win, we don’t see against whom we are playing”

On being asked about the advantage of playing against the tired legs of NEUFC, who will face FC Goa in less than 72 hours after their opening match, Zico categorically denied any added advantage and said,” It is normal for every team in the world. We are also going to do it three to four times in the season, to play in like in 72 hours also. So it is not a positive point for us and not a negative point for NorthEast United.”

Accompanying the Brazilian was compatriot and marquee player Lucio who seemed excited to be back.

Answering a question on returning back to the ISL for a second season he said, “I am very happy to back again. it’s a great team to play for in a great tournament.” The ex-Bayern Munich star who turned 38 in May, said his growing age will not be a factor in his performance. “My biggest motivation to play football is the happiness of playing it.” he concluded.

Report by Himangshu Rajkhowa- Khel Now Correspondent from Guwahati.