Naveen Kumar: The whole team has improved a lot
FC Goa will be on the lookout for all three points against Kerala Blasters FC when the two lock horns at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Monday. A victory in the match will see the Gaurs become the second team after Bengaluru FC to seal a place in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 play-offs.
Before the match, indiansuperleague.com caught up with FC Goa goalkeeper Naveen Kumar, who made a switch from Kerala to Goa during the winter break. In the absence of Mohammad Nawaz, Naveen has started the last two matches for the Gaurs and picked up two clean sheets. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Thoughts on your two clean sheets since returning to FC Goa.
Yeah, I am happy with my performance because we had clean sheets in the matches before I came into the squad and I've kept clean sheets too since returning. So, we are all happy with the performance.
Is the team confident about getting a win in tonight's match?
We can never really say beforehand but yes, we do have confidence that we can win because we've performed well in our previous match and we kept a clean sheet as well. Not to mention, we normally win by two or three goals more often than not. So, we are confident that we'll do well in the next match and try to win it.
What is the secret to FC Goa's improved defending in the last few matches?
The whole team has improved a lot. Mostly in defence. We have only conceded one goal in the last five matches. So, it will be good for us if it continues in this manner.
Can this good run of form be attributed to the defensive partnership of Mourtada Fall and Carlos Pena?
It is partly because of them. If you see our whole team, everyone goes up and down and the entire squad works hard. We do this because we don't want to concede and also we want to score goals.
What are you expecting from the match against Kerala Blasters FC?
They had a good run in their last match. They beat Chennaiyin FC 3-0. Even we won our last match against quality opposition. We will try our best to win. They are a good side. Let's see what happens.
Read the match preview here.