FC Goa can compete against anyone in Hero ISL: Head coach Carlos Pena

FC Goa head coach Carlos Pena is expecting a good game with amazing talent on display against ATK Mohun Bagan in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Sunday.

The Spaniard wants the Gaurs to stay committed to the game and not make any errors while facing a tough and strong opponent on Sunday and expressed confidence that they will return to their best version and stay consistent.

The 39-year-old defended his team as they are in a rebuilding phase and expects them to get back in shape on Sunday when he spoke in the official pre match conference.

Here are the excerpts from Carlos Pena’s press conference:

How much was the loss against Kerala Blasters FC a setback for your team?

No one in the team was happy after the game against Kerala Blasters FC. The team was not in the best shape in the last game, and we did have some chances to stay in the game, but it was not a good day. We spoke about the game and tried not to repeat the same errors because the team had been very consistent until the previous game.

Now it is time to prepare for the game on Sunday and get back to our best version in front of our fans.

FC Goa has not been able to defeat ATK Mohun Bagan. Do you think the fortunes will turn in your favour on Sunday?

FC Goa is able to compete against everyone in the league, and I do not try to look into the previous results. My team can beat anyone, and on Sunday if we do well in every aspect, the result will be positive.

Are there any changes in your defensive line for the upcoming game?

For Sunday, we have Fares Arnaout and Marc Valiente available. In the previous two games, we had to play without them due to various reasons, but I am happy with the players who filled in the positions.

It was not the reason we lost the last game, and I do not want to use injuries as an excuse because I have full trust in the players and the squad. It is better for the performance of the team to have all the players available, we have recovered with some important players and are ready to face the next opponent.

Looking at the results from the last five matches, do you believe that the team is inconsistent? Did you expect this considering there is a new coach and new faces?

We have played four games away from home and a single game at home. I think the team has competed very well only until the last game where we lost our shape.

We know where we are coming from, some players are young. We are in the process of building a team. It is true that we suffered a tough defeat, but this team has shown that they are ready for Sunday.

FC Goa will be facing their old boss, Juan Ferrando. You will be facing a lot of familiar faces. Going into this game, do you think motivation is key or is there anything more at stake?

We have enough motivation for Sunday’s game because if we win, we will go ahead of them in the points table. It is a big game against a very good team with very good players. We have suffered a loss, but we have a good feeling about recovering.

What is the biggest challenge your team will face against ATK Mohun Bagan?

We need to be at our best level for most parts of the game because they have a strong squad. If you commit mistakes against this kind of opponent, they are going to punish you. It is important to remain consistent and to attack and defend as a team.

We have amazing talent on display for tomorrow and the support of our fans. I term this game as a big challenge for us and a big opportunity.

How big is the impact of having a commanding goalkeeper on the team?

I love the energy and the commitment he(Dheeraj Singh) brings to the game. I love the relationship he has with his teammates.

They need to keep working like they have, as it helps the team evolve and improve a lot.

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