FC Goa boss Juan Ferrando: With Mumbai City’s budget, they have to win the title

The 40-year-old admitted that the Gaurs have missed Brandon Fernandes’ quality in their games…

Juan Ferrando has termed Monday’s 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) fixture between Mumbai City and FC Goa in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) as a ‘normal game’.

The fellow Spaniard who took over the mantle at the Goan outfit from Mumbai City boss Sergio Lobera, said, “For me, it’s a normal game. Of course, we want to get three points. We want to prepare our plan and execute it on the pitch.

“Our target is to be in the play-offs but we have to improve game by game. But this game is not special, because it’s not a final or a semi-final. It’s just one game more and we want to get the three points.”

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FC Goa have drawn their last four games but the coach believes that they were not inferior to their opponents in each of those contests.

“In the end, it’s the conclusion. If we drew, it’s not because our plan was not good. I think against Kerala (Blasters) and East Bengal (both 1-1) it was very difficult with only 10 (Goa) players on the pitch. Against NorthEast [United] (2-2), it was disappointing because we conceded two penalties when we were in good positional attack. But not because the other team was better than us. We need to put the focus on the 90 minutes,” he said.

Since the 1-1 draw against ATK Mohun Bagan, Goa has had to do without Brandon Fernandes who sustained an injury. 

“When one player is out because of injury, I miss everybody. If Brandon is not in the squad, it’s difficult for everybody but I have 26 players in my squad and I believe in all the players,” Ferrando stated. “When one player is is not in the squad, the team is not working at the same level. In the last games, players like Brandon can help with the last pass or create space for the attackers.

“It was necessary to change some points with Devendra (Murgaonkar), I’m happy. He has a different style [as compared] to Brandon but he brings different details to help the team when we are in attack.”

Juan Ferrando, Goa vs Mumbai City

Lobera had said that Goa will play under pressure to make it to the playoffs. Ferrando responded, “I don’t know the exact words of Sergio but maybe he (Lobera) has more pressure because, with that budget, the team (Mumbai City) wants to win the championship. But for me the most important thing is to prepare well and get three points,” the Goa coach asserted.

“We have pressure in every game and every training session but not because we are playing against Mumbai. We have pressure to get three more points and improve some details”

Meanwhile, despite playing just once last season, goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh has immediately been brought into the starting XI since signing for the Gaurs in the January transfer window.

Dheeraj Singh FC Goa ISL 7

“Honestly, it’s not an easy task when you don’t play for a long time but as professional players, we have to train every day and when you get a chance, you have to perform,” the former ATK and Kerala Blasters keeper said. 


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