Goa assistant coach Tato believes ‘little details’ will make the difference against Mumbai

FC Goa will be on the road to play the first leg of their semi-final encounter against Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday. Making their fourth semi-final appearance in five seasons, Goa will be eager to finally end their wait for the trophy and go all the way this time around. However, to achieve that, the Gaurs will need to cross the Mumbai hurdle and a positive result on Saturday will go a long way in giving them the upper hand.

At the pre-match press conference before the match, Goa’s Assistant Coach Jesus Tato took over the media duties in the absence of head coach Sergio Lobera. Tato began his address by providing his analysis of Saturday’s opponents. “We respect the quality and character of Mumbai a lot. But again, the most important thing is that we have to be focussed on ourselves and be loyal to our style and idea of football,” he said.

However, when asked about the team news ahead of the crunch tie, Tato opted to remain coy and said, “I don’t want to give you guys any hint yet. As of now I can tell you that all our players are fit and available. We have multiple options and we consider Mumbai as a great squad. So, I don’t want to give Mumbai any extra information.”

The Gaurs bested the Islanders in both their league meetings this season, scoring 7 goals and conceding none. The Spaniard, however, opined that past results won’t have any bearing on the upcoming fixture. “It is something we have spoken about inside the dressing room. We know that was during the league stage. But now it is a completely different story. We are in the semi-finals now. With 180 minutes, it will be very tough. The little details will count and make the difference. We have to leave what happened in the league stages and focus on this,” he stated.

Goa were knocked out of the competition in the same stage last season. Asked how the team plans to affect a different outcome this time around, Tato said, “Last season, I was not here so I don’t know how the team approached the semi-finals. The only thing I can tell you is that this season, the players come with a year’s experience. So, I think that will be an advantage. All of them are approaching the semi-finals with a lot of excitement and hopefully we can take a step forward compared to the last season.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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