Ferrando sad but sympathises with players after big defeat against Persepolis FC

FC Goa were handed a 4-0 loss by Iranian outfit Persepolis FC when the two sides met in their Group E (West Region) encounter of the AFC Champions League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Friday night. The two-time Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) finalists conceded two goals in either half to succumb to their second consecutive loss against the Red Army in three days.

At the post-match press conference, Gaurs head coach Juan Ferrando was understandably gutted in light of the magnitude of the defeat. “It was a very difficult match. Firstly, because they are a very good team and secondly because a lot of [FC Goa] players in the last two days were exhausted. It's difficult when you have one day to prepare for the game and the squad is short. It's not an excuse because we made mistakes in crosses and transition too.

“In the end, the score is normal because Persepolis is four or five steps ahead of FC Goa. Of course, I'm totally disappointed and sad today but the players tried to work 100 percent. It's not possible to explain more about the players' effort,” said the Spaniard.

FC Goa’s packed schedule meant that the 40-year-old had to make eight changes to the starting XI that had lost 2-1 against Yahya Golmohammadi’s men in the first leg on Tuesday. Talking about these changes, Ferrando said: “Seriton [Fernandes] couldn't train. He is very tired. James [Donachie] and Ivan [Gonzalez] were in the XI and maybe Ivan is injured. Sanson [Pereira] continued but with a low battery. The midfielders, Glan [Martins] and Brandon [Fernandes] were exhausted. The same with Jorge Ortiz.”

Ferrando was also of the opinion that the psychology of the players took a massive hit after they conceded the second goal on Friday night, following which the Iranian champions well and truly put their foot down. “In my opinion, after the second goal… it was difficult for the psychology of the players. The players are tired and you know this is the last week. In the end, the problem is that we don't have two or three days to prepare. But it's the same for Persepolis, Al Rayyan [SC] and Al Wahda,” he said.

FC Goa now take on Qatari side Al Rayyan SC on Monday and Emirati club Al Wahda on Thursday. Shedding light on his approach ahead of these two games, Ferrando said, “My aim is to change the mentality of the team. Our most important target today was to have no injuries but for sure at least two players had problems. We'll see tomorrow. It's difficult.”


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