Have to be at our best version to get three points: FC Goa’s Carlos Pena

FC Goa head coach Carlos Pena mentioned that his side need to be their best version of themselves ahead of their meeting against Jamshedpur FC in matchweek 12 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, in Jamshedpur, on Thursday.

Both sides have witnessed contrasting fortunes this season. While FC Goa are placed sixth in the Hero ISL standings with 18 points after 10 games, Jamshedpur FC are placed 10th after just recording four points. FC Goa got the better of the Red Miners earlier in the season, winning with a 3-0 scoreline and will hope to repeat the same again.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference alongside defender Aibanbha Dohling, Pena said that Jamshedpur FC have changed a lot since that result and he is expecting a different game. The Spaniard also said that he has a lot of respect for Jamshedpur FC despite their results, but stated that his team need to focus on themselves and not the opposition.

Here are the excerpts from Pena:

You won against Jamshedpur FC by three goals at home. What kind of match are you expecting this time?

Well, I expected a different game in the first leg. There we had a great performance, but with Jamshedpur FC, many things have changed since then. They have changed their foreign players and more or less, it’s going to be a different game.

What are your targets in terms of how many goals you want your team to score?

We have come here to get the three points. We respect Jamshedpur FC a lot. It’s true that they are not in a good momentum but they have lost games due to small differences and small details. We respect them, their coach, their players and we will try to be at our best version to get the three points because it’s a very important game for us.

Your thoughts on Jamshedpur FC?

They have not started the season badly, they won their second game at home but nobody expected them to be in the position that they are in now because they won the League Winners’ Shield. They have retained some players from last season and have signed some new players in this transfer window. It is going to be a tough game for us.

Your thoughts about the football in Jamshedpur and the infrastructure?

Jamshedpur is a very important place for Indian football. The facilities you have here around the stadium, they have a good academy and good, young players who have improved. And the first team has good players. When I was a player, it was not easy to win or play against Jamshedpur FC. And now as a coach, I feel the same. The culture of football has grown in Jamshedpur FC and I enjoy being here and training in these facilities. I will try to enjoy Thursday’s game.

Jay-Emmanuel Thomas has been a key player for Jamshedpur FC. Any special plans for him?

Yes, I have noticed that he has been playing more minutes compared to when we played against them in the first leg. He is an important player in the tactics that the coach has. He is having more minutes and more importance (in the team). We know that he is a very important player for Jamshedpur FC. But we are going to focus on ourselves and intensity. We will try to play our best and try to beat Jamshedpur FC but not focusing too much on them, but thinking more about ourselves.

Your assessment of Anwar Ali’s performances this season?

I’m very happy for him. He is performing very well. He is playing a lot of minutes with us and he is showing that he can play consistently. He is a young player and makes mistakes like all the other players. He needs to improve in many aspects of his game. But I’m very happy for him and he is important for FC Goa. He is playing regularly in the starting eleven. He has shown quality and I want to help him improve. I expect him to keep helping the team.

Any update on the club’s transfers plans?

Well, we are always paying attention to transfers. But now, I’m very happy with the squad that I have now. Of course, we are going to pay attention to the things that we can do in the future.

Your thoughts on the home fans and the atmosphere they create for the home team?

It’s a different environment. People here love football and I’m happy to be here. I hope to enjoy on Thursday in front of their great fans and we will try to get their three points.

Here are the excerpts from Dohling's press conference: 

You're a product of the Tata Football Academy (TFA). How was your experience here?

I was very young when I came to the TFA. I was 15 and I was there for four years, after which I graduated from here. Going back to the time at TFA, it was very good for (shaping) where I am now. It helps a lot. Because I was young that time and I was still learning and even now, I am still learning with FC Goa. TFA has helped me become a better person, not just a footballer and how to be a good person on and off the pitch. One of the most important things from TFA was that I got a lot of exposure. I went to the United Kingdom two times with TFA and it helped me a lot. I learnt a lot from here. Im very happy to be a part of TFA.

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