The FC Goa coach believes his team needs to be strong mentally to finish off and win games…
FC Goa are on a 10-game unbeaten run but have drawn their last six games in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL).
On Wednesday, they are set to face bottom-placed Odisha who has just one win in 17 games but coach Juan Ferrando knows that no team can be taken lightly.
“Maybe you can imagine it as being easy but it’s not so easy because now Odisha’s players don’t have a lot of stress on the pitch. They played better in the last games. Of course, it’s a difficult game. They will also be thinking about the future, to fight on the pitch and give some good performances because maybe in the future they will get some good offers.
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“For us, we have to plan, be compact, get three points and immediately prepare for the match against Bengaluru,” said the Spaniard.
The Gaurs are currently fourth after 17 games and with as many points (24) as Hyderabad who will face Kerala Blasters on Tuesday evening.
The Goan outfit has had to dig out equalisers at the end of the games in their last couple of outings such as the 3-3 draw against Mumbai City and more recently the 2-2 draw against Chennaiyin. On both occasions, they had to rely on substitute Ishan Pandita to salvage a point.
Explaining the six consecutive draws, Ferrando stressed that only experience can help the team commit less mistakes, especially at the back.
“In our mind, we never think about (getting) draws. In our mentality, we have to continue to keep working (for victories). It’s not possible to change more details. For example, in the last game, it was an unlucky action (miscommuciation that led to a goal) between [Mohammed] Ali and Dheeraj (Singh). In this game, it’s necessary to support them and help them because it’s the most important (thing) at this moment.
“Sometimes, it’s necessary to know what happened. In the last game, we were unlucky with the mistakes but against Mumbai it was the same in set-pieces. This is not normal but normal because they are typical mistakes [for players] without experience. Of course, the most important thing is not to make the same mistakes. I hope these draws in future will help in a win,” he remarked.
Having scored the second most number of goals (26), Goa have also conceded as many as 21 goals this season.
“At the end, of the 21 goals against us, more or less 16 were from set-pieces and penalties. It’s not because the opposition was good in positional attack and found mistakes. Some of the goals against us, for example against Kerala from a cross, against Mumbai in transitional play (happened) because we were not good in positional attack, the rest of the goals were from corners, fouls and penalties. Of course, we have to improve in set-pieces, but I’m not so afraid about it. To improve, it’s necessary to have experience,” the Goa coach explained.
FC Goa last registered a victory over a month ago and Ferrando feels that his team has to deal with their own nerves first.
“At the end, when we are on the pitch, we have to control our emotions, we have to be clear about the things in attack and defense. If the team is clear, we don’t have the pressure. My team can play football and they know about attack and defense. Sometimes, our biggest opponent is Goa because we concede to the pressure and stress, and in [the last] 10-12 minutes it’s difficult for the players. If the team has a strong mentality tomorrow, I’m not scared about going for three points tomorrow,” he signed out.