Didn’t expect this kind of atmosphere in India: FC Goa’s Iker Guarrotxena

FC Goa’s new signing Iker Guarrotxena hailed the incredible fan support his side has been receiving in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season so far, terming it as an unbelievable experience.

Iker has been a major part of the Carlos Pena-coached FC Goa side that have started the 2022-23 campaign on a good note. The Gaurs have benefited from his creativity between the lines, which in turn has boosted their attack.

However, the Gaurs haven’t been up to their best in the last four games, losing three and winning one, with their latest loss coming against Mumbai City FC in a 4-1 defeat. Having scored the lone goal in their loss against the Islanders, the midfielder believes there’s still time to turn the corner and has full faith in Pena to make a difference.

The 29-year-old also spoke about what went wrong in their game against Mumbai City FC, his targets for the season, and a lot more as he had an exclusive chat with indiansuperleague.com in a post-match interview.

Here are the excerpts from his interview:

You scored your second Hero ISL goal this season. Your thoughts?

Yes, we can't be happy because we weren’t ourselves. We put in the work during the week. We had good energy before the game against Mumbai City FC and we expected more. But sometimes it happens, we need to learn fast and you will see a big change before the next game.

Do you think the team lacked creativity in the previous game against Mumbai City FC?

There are a lot of things to analyse. Now is not the moment to complain. It’s time to put these feelings aside (after a defeat). This defeat hurt us a lot. Each one of us need to analyse ourselves and we need to learn fast and immediately because we will have a good challenge in the next game as well. We need to learn, improve, and ensure those mistakes don’t happen again.

How would you describe your experience playing in front of the fans back home?

It’s unbelievable. Honestly, I didn't expect this kind of atmosphere here in India. I am so happy and excited to play the next game already as we have a beautiful atmosphere at home. This is an amazing group and we can change our situation.

You have a good link up with Alvaro Vazquez. Could you describe your understanding with him?

I have a good understanding with all of my teammates and all of them are important. It’s a long season, and everyone needs to push a lot. The players who are playing are working hard and those on the bench too. One guy is not bigger than the other in this team. As I said, there will be a big difference in the next game.

FC Goa have had a mixed bag of results - four wins and four defeats. What has been the biggest positive for the team so far?

The coach knows how to change this situation. It’s not a big challenge because any team can lose two games in a row. We have a beautiful challenge in the next game and Carlos (Pena) is the guy who can manage this best. We will be playing in Goa and we are all together. No complaints right now, we have to work and compete well.

Do you think you can help the team with more goals and assists? Have you set any targets?

I’m not just thinking about myself, but we need to change this situation as quickly as possible. It’s not time to focus on oneself. We have to be humble and work hard as a team, because as a team we can change this.

This is your first stint in Asia, do you think you have finally adapted to the team?

I was in Australia two years ago, so for me, this could be easier. Anyway, football is the same around the world. It’s eleven against eleven. We have an amazing group and a good atmosphere in the dressing room, so we have to take advantage of this and move ahead.

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