Expect nothing different from Mumbai City FC: FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando

FC Goa head coach Juan Ferando feels that their first opponents of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season, Mumbai City FC, would adopt a similar playing style as the previous season, even though they have a new head coach at their helm.

Defending champions Mumbai City FC replaced Sergio Lobera with Des Buckingham ahead of the new season, but Ferrando still expects them to be a formidable opponent.

Speaking about his own team, the Spanish coach believes that the experience gained in the 2021 AFC Champions League would be a great boost for the FC Goa players in the upcoming season.

The team enjoyed a great pre-season, winning their first 2021 Durand Cup title.

Ahead of the fixture against Mumbai City FC, Ferrando addressed the media during the pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

Mumbai have a new coach this year. So how do you think they will approach the game and how different will Mumbai be from last season?

My point of view, more or less, Mumbai City FC are the same, their head coach is now thinking like the ex-coach. I’m thinking they are working more or less in the same style. Now, the team except Hugo Boumous, Adam le Fondre, they are the same squad. There is Apuia to help in the midfield. But, my point of view is that more or less they have the style. Yes, there is a bit of change, with the new coach coming in. But, tomorrow, their game will more or less be the same.

You talked about a few of Mumbai City FC players. So another player that could play tomorrow is Igor Angulo, who played for your team last season. What are your thoughts on him?

Yes, Igor played for us last season, he is a good number 9. Inside the box, his efficiency is 100%. But, for us, the plan is to work like a team. Of course, it’s not only about Igor, we have to put our attention on all the players because Mumbai City FC have a strong squad. All the respect for this club, because at the moment, they are the champions and it's very important we work like a team. I trust my team, 100%. I trust in my squad, very happy because they are working so hard for the season and they are ready to play tomorrow.

So, moving on from that question, last season you played in the AFC champions league. So how in your opinion has that helped the Indian players in particular, as they prepare for a new season of the ISL?

The AFC Champions League was an amazing experience for us. I think everybody, the captain and also the young players knows this experience for us was very important because we know at this moment, if we are working like a team, our expectations are so high, you know, we can improve.

What are your expectations from Airam Cabrera this season?

Especially to help the team when we are working in the build-up. He will also be helpful in the breaks, the control, the timing. But, my expectations is not only from him or the goals, we have Romario, Ortiz, we have wingers, we have Glan, have a lot of players. And in this case I'm not so scared about the goals. Most important is to help in pressing, help in build-up.

Do you think Devendra Murgaonkar will be a potential replacement for Pandita?

Actually he understands that when it’s his time. He wants to learn in every training session, he's working hard. I think the most important thing is that he knows his position.

I am happy with Devendra. And then because he is improving every day and also I hope, day by day, training by training. And, if he wants to help the team by 10 minutes, five minutes, or even 90 minutes, he is ready.

What were some of your key takeaways from the pre-season?

The pre-season for us, you know, it's very important because this is the moment to work with the team and is the moment to improve tactically, in physical condition. I'm happy because the club and the coaching staff helped us. I'm very happy because the foreign players decided to join the team so early. A lot of foreign players decided to join one month before the season.

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