Clifford Miranda: Our back is against the wall and the only way is forward

FC Goa will lock horns with Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday for the second leg of their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 semi-final clash. Having suffered a damaging 4-1 defeat in the first leg in Chennai, the Gaurs will have to dig deep to overturn the result and reach the final on March 14.

At the pre-match press conference, Goa interim coach Clifford Miranda said, “It is a massive game. We have to win and overcome the deficit. But that does not mean that we will go all-out from minute one. It is 90 minutes and more. It will not be decided in the first 10-15 minutes. It will be throughout the period until the final whistle is blown. We will take it minute by minute.”

Miranda also acknowledged the importance of finding the right balance between defence and attack against Chennaiyin. “When you play a football game, you also have to defend and also have to attack. But this particular game is of a different dynamic. A dynamic where we have to be really strong in defence, and at the same time we have to overcome the deficit that can take us to the final. We have to be careful. We have to be strong.”

“Motivation is not a factor because it is natural for us in this moment. We have to be really careful in defence, and at the same time, keep the balance between attack and defence. It is 90 minutes and we will take it right down to the last minute,” he added.

Looking back at the first leg, Miranda noted, “We were disappointed but not devastated. We knew, there is one game back home, in our own stadium, where we are more than comfortable to get a result in our favour. We do have our back against the wall but then there is one way we can go, which is forward. We will try everything we can to get a result in our favour.”

He also claimed that the onus will be on Chennaiyin as they will start the game as favourites. “For me, it is Chennaiyin’s match to lose. For us, we will play freely and responsibly. We have a responsibility towards our style, our fans, the ethics that the club. I cannot ask anything more from the players. They have given absolutely everything throughout the season. What I can ask is from the fans. It is one more time that I would like to ask them to come. They must support their team,” he concluded.

Playmaker Hugo Boumous, who missed the first leg, was also at the media briefing. “It was really difficult for me because I got an injury the week before the first leg. My team lost 4-1 against a difficult team. It was very tough. But I think that we have the quality in the team. We have great players. I am confident that we can come back if we can manage the game in defence, and in attack. We need to score from the chances that we get.”

“When we are on song, we score lot of goals and create a lot of chances, which is very important. I am hoping that against Chennaiyin we will get lots of chances, because we will play an offensive game,” he added.

Read the Match Preview here.

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