Mohammad Yasir has been a shining light for FC Goa in a period of their Indian Super League (ISL) season that has seen them record just one victory in six matches and which has seen their League Shield campaign suffer a setback. 

Yasir who rejoined the team after spending four and a half fruitful seasons at Hyderabad FC has hit the ground running in West India. He has scored in each of his two starts for the Gaurs and can be the spark to reignite their League Shield ambitions.

Yasir’s equaliser against Mumbai City FC helped FC Goa end a run of three straight defeats in the league and ensure they remain firmly in the mix for the big prize. 

The 25-year-old spoke about his desire to help his new team while continuing to grow individually. 

“We were a goal down. I thought that I’ll have to try (shooting from outside the box) as we had nothing to lose. I found a bit of space and I took a shot. I had the confidence that it would go in,” Yasir told in an exclusive interview after the game. 

“I want to contribute more goals and assists. I am getting to learn a lot under coach Manolo. I am enjoying it a lot and my confidence is growing under him,” he added. 

Yasir grew from strength to strength under Marquez at Hyderabad FC where he became an integral part of the team that won the ISL Cup in 2021-22. He made four goal contributions that season. That tally rose to seven in 2022-23 as the youngster started to come of age. 

The attacking midfielder hasn’t had the same impact this season with Hyderabad FC struggling for consistency but has scored twice after reuniting with the Spaniard. 

“I’ve developed a lot playing under him (Marquez), and it's because of him that I got into the Indian team,” Yasir said.

“He corrects me whenever I make a mistake and encourages me to learn different things. He says I can go to greater heights if I do that,” he added. 

The 25-year-old has an emotional connection with Marquez who he sees as a father figure. 

“I really like him as a person. I can say that he is like my father. I’m very happy under him. I have never seen a coach like him in my life,” Yasir said. 

“Every player tells me he is like your father, but it's not just me, other players feel the same about him,” he added. 

However, it was FC Goa who got him into the ISL fold as a youngster and the Manipuri footballer now wants to make a mark with the Gaurs having impressed for Hyderabad FC. 

“It feels the same as before when I used to play for FC Goa. When I got a chance to play in the ISL (2017-18 season), I was selected by FC Goa first,” he said. 

“It’s a good club. I like their style of play and that was one of the main reasons why I joined,” he added. 

While playing for a team like FC Goa has its privileges, it is a tough job with plenty of competition for places. Yasir acknowledges that he will have to step it up to get regular first-team chances at FC Goa and is ready for the challenge. 

“There is intense competition for places in the FC Goa side, both in midfield and on the wings. We have three wingers from Manipur on our side: Boris Singh Thangjam, Udanta Singh, and myself. All of them are good players,” he said. 

“We have a lot of competition in midfield too and there are plenty of options. The competition is such that you need to play tough physically, and intelligently and focus on your game,” he added. 

FC Goa though are in desperate need to turn the corner after going five matches without a win. However, with just three points separating them and the ISL league summit, Yasir believes the hard-earned point against the Islanders who are joint top comes as a big boost for his side. 

“It's normal to lose confidence after defeats. But it's important to boost your morale after such losses. We need to motivate each other and help each other to get back to the top,” Yasir said. 

“We’ve got one point against Mumbai City FC and we are regaining our confidence. We will fight harder in the next match,” he concluded.