Ferrando urges his players to keep emotions in check ahead of first-leg showdown

FC Goa will be eager to put on a solid display when they face Mumbai City FC at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday in the first leg of Semi-final 1 in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21. The Gaurs qualified for the semis after a goalless draw with Hyderabad FC in the penultimate game of the league stage and they will be keen on getting a positive result against the Islanders following a loss and a draw in their matches against them earlier in the season.

Speaking to media at the pre-match press conference, FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando stressed the need for his players to keep their emotions in check during the clash. “Firstly, we need to control our emotions. It is not about the three points. It is 180 minutes. It is two games and I think it is necessary to control the emotions. After that, it is necessary to believe in our plan. And then depending on the moment, we need to take risks. But for me, the first 20 minutes, we need to control the feelings,” he said.

“We are in the semi-finals. Put focus on tomorrow and then on Monday [second leg]. It is step-by-step. At the end, it is the last three games of the season. It is necessary not to think about the future. When FC Goa think about the future then we have a problem. Our only focus is on the next 90 minutes. And then the 90 minutes on Monday,” he added.

Ferrando went on to reveal the mindset in the Gaurs camp heading into the semis. “In the dressing room when we talk, the most important thing is that they enjoy the game. If the FC Goa players enjoy the game, then we have success. Then comes the pressure factor. Pressure exists because everybody wants to win. It is important for me that the players want to play football. I am afraid when the team is not playing football. Because it becomes difficult to help them,” he said.

The Spaniard also elaborated how FC Goa intend to cope without the suspended duo of Ivan Gonzalez and Alberto Noguera. “We have a very good squad. If we do not have Glan [Martins], we have Princeton [Rebello]. If no Princeton, we have Amarjit [Singh]. We have Adil for Ivan [Gonzalez] now that he is out. In case of Alberto [Noguera] we can maybe find a new plan. It is not a problem. I want to put the best possible line-up, but sometimes it is not possible because of injuries or suspensions. I am happy because the entire team works hard during the training. It is not a big problem for me to choose the best line-up,” Ferrando said.

The 40-year-old was joined by defender Adil Khan for the press conference and the Indian international explained how his head coach wants the Gaurs to play. ”He wants us to play from the back. We train and plan on how to break the teams. We absorb the pressure. It is important for all the players to know what exactly the coach needs. It took a little bit of time for me to adjust to the system. Now I know what I have to do. It is working well for me,” Adil said.

Adil, who joined FC Goa from Hyderabad FC in the winter transfer window, also touched on how he’s adjusted his playing style at his new club. “In the beginning I did not know the other players, especially how the foreigners play. Also, how exactly the coach wants me to play. In the beginning, it was difficult. I have adapted well to the situation and now, I think it is working well,” he said.

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