Derrick Pereira: Won’t change much but there’s scope for improvement

FC Goa face off against Hyderabad FC in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Wednesday. This will be the Gaurs’ first game after the departure of long-serving head coach Sergio Lobera. With a new coaching team in place, Goa will be vying for all three points against bottom-placed Hyderabad to strengthen their claim for the top spot in the table.

At the pre-match press conference, Goa’s Technical Director Derrick Pereira assured that the change at the helm will not affect how the team operates on the field. “I’m very excited to work with the first team. If you see our youth teams, we all play a similar kind of football. So, to get into this set -up, there won’t be much changes. There won’t be many changes, we will stick to the same training routine. However, I always believe that there’s scope for improvement,” he said.

Speaking about the challenge facing him and the rest of the new coaching team, Pereira opined, “I have a special quality when it comes to taking up challenges, as can be seen with my previous clubs and the India U-23 team. I have to see how to go about it in a way that benefits the team and take them to the top. My focus is on keeping the team together and making sure they continue playing together as a team. We need to focus on each and every match. We have the quality in our team, but our mindset has to be right.”

Addressing Wednesday’s match and opponents, Pereira remarked, “Every match is a tough game. We must prepare ourselves to play to the best of our abilities. Hyderabad have improved their performances after changing their coach. They are strong in defence and even while going forward. But if we stick to our style of football, I think we can overcome this challenge. If we stay together, we can get good results in the remaining few matches.”

Reiterating his confidence on the squad’s ability to transition seamlessly, the 57-year-old noted, “Since I first stepped into the training field, I could feel the positive energy among the players. I felt the change and they responded well to our training. They show the same attitude, and this gives me a lot of satisfaction.”

“It’s not about a few players, it’s about the whole team. I am excited to work with the set of quality players that we have. We have the quality and the players to support each other and get the right results,” he added.

Pereira was joined by defender Carlos Pena, who echoed Pereira’s thoughts and stated, “Changes are never easy. Sergio has done a very good job during his two and a half seasons at the club. It's normal that many players are sad, but we are professionals. We represent FC Goa. We need to look to the future. We need continue to fight the same way to achieve the objectives of the club. Now, we are happy that Derrick and his staff has helped us a lot during these days. Now we need to focus on the next three games which are very important to us."

“We are sure we can achieve what we set out to achieve. We are professionals and we defend the club. Players and coaches come and go, but the club remains. The club and the supporters are the most important here and we, the players, fight for the club and the fans,” the Spaniard added.

Read the Match Preview here.

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