From here on, it’s do or die for us to get the three points: FC Goa’s Derrick Pereira

FC Goa head coach Derrick Pereira has a plan in process to utilise his players to their best potential to secure the three points, as his side is set to clash against Chennaiyin FC in match 54 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season on Saturday at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

Pereira was delighted with the response he got after taking charge of the team and stated that it boosted his motivation and confidence to build up his team. Plagued with injury and suspension troubles from the start of the season, Pereira admitted that the return of key attacking players will be decisive in determining the outcome of the upcoming fixtures.

Prior to the game against Chennaiyin FC, Pereira addressed the media during a pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the coach’s press conference:

Knowing it’s the last match of the first phase, how important is it for the team to start winning?

It has not been an ideal preparation for the match tomorrow, but keeping everything aside these types of troubles, circumstances have kept coming our way from the beginning of the season. Our focus should be on Saturday’s game in whatever way we can plan it out, go in there and put our best foot forward. We also need to keep the composure up front to finish and hopefully keep a clean sheet.

What do you make of the upcoming opponents Chennaiyin FC?

Every match is tough, all the teams are tough, but on a given day, if we play to our potential, we can get a good result and that is what we’re working on. The standings don’t reflect the strength of our team, so we want to improve our standing on the table match by match. We have to stay focused throughout the game.

Muhammed Nemil has started two back-to-back games now. So, what do you make of his performance?

He is a young player, he has the potential, and we believe that as he gets more playing time, he’ll keep on getting better. We are looking at him for our future at FC Goa and along with him, there are other players who need to get opportunities too. We are waiting for the right time to push them in and give them more playing time so that they are exposed at this level to know what is required of them in different scenarios of the game.

How important is it for FC Goa to not just avoid a loss but to win tomorrow?

From now on, it is all do or die. For us, we have to go for the three points. We have to plan in such a way that we go for the maximum. I was happy to hear from the other coaches that FC Goa is a very good team and then you know the [league] standing doesn’t reflect that, but we should continue playing good football and believe in ourselves.

Now that we have our injured players back, we need to build that understanding among ourselves and create opportunities to score. If we get one good win, then we’ll get enough confidence and motivation to do well in the remaining matches.

How are you feeling about the squad after taking up the team? And how do you see the team to shape up ahead of the next game?

Although I was not involved in the day-to-day activities, I used to watch the team from outside, and I know most of the players. When I came in, the response was huge and a positive one that gave me more confidence and motivation to work harder, get the team together, and go forward from here.

So far, FC Goa has scored 13 goals in the league. So, do you think there’s a problem in the attacking department and how do you want to go about it?

Injuries and suspensions to our players upfront had definitely hampered our attack, but now since all players, except for Brandon [Fernandes] who is yet to get fit, are back into the squad, hopefully we’ll start scoring goals with the chances that we’re creating.

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