After two consecutive defeats against Chennaiyin FC and ATK Mohun Bagan, FC Goa will square off against Jamshedpur FC tomorrow night in the Indian Super League (ISL). Head coach Juan Ferrando will be looking to get his boys charged up after a couple of disappointing performances as they try to get back on track towards a top 4 finish.
The match against Jamshedpur will be the fourth in 11 days for the Gaurs as they try to return to winning ways. Speaking to the press ahead of the crucial encounter, Ferrando explained why it has been difficult to adjust to the busy schedule. “If you have 5-6 days between games then you have time to work in training, on positioning, on tactics. But in the last week we have had time only for video analysis, our physical recovery and trying to be mentally ready for the next game,” he said ruefully.
It hasn’t helped that he has had players out with sickness as well but things seem to be improving on that front. “The last few days, we’ve had issues with sickness and minor injuries. Edu, Brandon have all been affected apart from some others as well but now they are better. The overall feeling in the squad is better than last week,” said the Spaniard while addressing his side’s fitness issues.
Despite the two defeats, FC Goa are a side that always look to play positive football and attack their opposition. However, the nature of the two defeats, especially the one against ATK Mohun Bagan must have sapped a lot of enthusiasm and energy out of the players. “Our focus is on the present, it’s on tomorrow. I’m still sad about the last two games. But we have to look at the present and the future because we can’t change the past,” is how Ferrando summarizes his views on that. Asked about his plans to contain a dangerous Jamshedpur attack, the Gaurs’ head coach said with a sheepish grin, “We decide on one plan and one way which we will keep a secret until tomorrow.”
Asked about how he intends to motivate his players after what has been a difficult week, the former Malaga youth team coach explained, “There is no magic word or sentence that I can say to lift everyone’s spirits. My job is to show everyone that we are at a certain point and we need to think like a team going forward. If you have your friends and family around you it becomes easier to talk about your feelings and emotions. But in this situation, it is not necessary to specifically tell the players what to do, it is more important to let them share their emotions and slowly get the mentality right for the next game.”
With Jamshedpur coming off a six-match unbeaten run, it will be difficult for FC Goa to impose their passing game on what is a counter-attacking team. Moreover, they have the likes of Nerijus Valskis, Jackichand Singh, Aniket Jadhav and others who have been extremely consistent till now. Nonetheless, with the players that Goa have, Ferrando will be hoping that his side can turn a corner and put a disappointing week behind them.