Mumbai defeat was hard to take but I trust my players to deliver: FC Goa’s Juan Ferrando

After an underwhelming loss against Mumbai City FC, FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando remained confident and backed his players to put their best foot forward against Jamshedpur FC on Friday at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.

Ferrando addressed his team’s concerns in transitional play, one of the major reasons for their defeat against the reigning champions, and insisted his team to be more compact. Moving on from the loss in their opening game, the 40-year-old instilled confidence in his players and shifted focus onto the Jamshedpur FC game, with a new gameplan and strategy.

The Gaurs’ head coach Ferrando along with midfielder Glan Martins greeted the media during a pre-match press conference.

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

For a team that had an excellent record of being unbeaten for 15 matches in the previous season, how difficult was it for you to digest the 3-0 defeat against Mumbai City FC?

Ferrando: Of course, it’s not so easy. In my point of view, our performance in the first game was not good. I’m thinking only in terms of Friday’s game. Most importantly, we’re working in our plan, in our style, and it was okay against Mumbai, our performance was not good. It’s necessary to learn but the focus is on the next game. Obviously, we’re not happy, but this is football, and we have a new challenge so it’s important to focus on Friday’s game.

What are the areas in which your team lacked in the last game? And how will you address those problems?

Ferrando: In transitions when we lost the ball, it’s important to be more compact. For example, we lost the ball twice in the second half and our transition wasn’t good. In the case of the first goal, we lost the ball due to the foul and there we lacked transition too. It’s very important to control space when in attack and in the overlap because recovery of the ball is crucial and we need to press as the opponent has a lot of space, as such it’s difficult for us to defend this action.

The right side of FC Goa didn’t seem impressive in the previous game, especially in the defensive third. Are you planning to bring in some changes for Friday’s game?

Ferrando: Last match was the first time Leandre [D’Cunha] and Papuia [Lalhmangaihsanga] played together in a competitive game. They played together in the Durand Cup and in the friendlies. I repeat, FC Goa has two targets: to win games and to improve all the players in our team. At this moment, it is necessary to continue working with them to improve their game. I’m not at all scared, I have trust in all my 29 players as it’s the most important thing. These are the best 29 players for me, it is very important for me to work with them.

We saw Gama [Saviour] playing a little higher up the pitch in the previous game which looked uncomfortable for him. Was there any reason to play him under such an advanced role?

Ferrando: We played with different wingers in the last month, and in the last week Redeem [Tlang] was injured. Jorge [Ortiz] was in the process of recovery. Nongdamba [Naorem], after being out for six months, is not yet ready to play the full 90 minutes. So, in this situation we decided to play Gama as a winger but that’s fine. The team performance was not good, it was not just a problem of Gama or the right-backs or left-backs. We tried to give our best but, in the end, there was no success. Now, we’re thinking about the next game, to prepare a new game plan and be positive because on Friday, we have a new opportunity.

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

What was the immediate reaction in the dressing room and how has the team reacted in the training sessions after the defeat against Mumbai City FC?

Martins: It was difficult for all the players; they were frustrated because it was our first match and we lost 3-0. From the time we entered the dressing room, we started focusing on the next match. We started the work from the next day itself and now we are ready for the challenge on Friday.

What are the strategies you’ve kept as a player following last match’s results?

Martins: For me and the team, we just want to win the match tomorrow and make things fine because the last match was hard for us. We want to make things right in the camp, we know how important the matches are for us as well as the fans. We will go out there, give our best and win the match.

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