Manolo Marquez, FC Goa's head coach, admitted that his side will need to play their best football in order to beat Punjab FC when the two sides meet in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, on Monday.
FC Goa are getting back in shape after their tough run of results, following the resumption of the league in January. The Gaurs beat East Bengal FC in their previous fixture, ending their five-game winless streak. Standing in at fourth on the league table, with 32 points from 17 games, Marquez's men will be looking for nothing short of a win when they play Punjab FC as they look to keep their League Shield dreams alive this season. 

Meanwhile, Punjab FC are doing relatively well, in their first season of the ISL than initially expected, having won five games already. The Shers stand eighth on the points table, with 20 points from 18 games. Winning three out of their last five games, they will be looking to build on their recent win against NorthEast United FC, and boost their playoff aspirations.  
The press conference began with Marquez acknowledging that their team still has a chance to win this season's Shield, as long as there is still a possibility.
"Yes, till the moment mathematics says the opposite, you can be the (League) champions. We know that at the moment we just don't depend only on our wins, but we need to do the things that we can control. We can try to win these games but it's true we cannot think too much. We need to go to (New) Delhi and try to win against Punjab FC then we will think about Bengaluru FC," during the pre-match press conference. 
Marquez provided his insightful observations on Punjab FC, who are playing their first season in the ISL. Having had the opportunity to observe them closely, he shared his thoughts on the team's playing style and strengths. Furthermore, the seasoned coach highlighted the intense level of competition in this season's ISL, underscoring the need for every team to bring their A-game to the pitch.
He said, "Now every game, except when you play against Hyderabad FC, is tough. Today Chennaiyin FC is second from the bottom, if they win today they go to sixth. The fight for the sixth place and the fight for the Shield, these will be a tough game. The thing I like about Punjab FC is that they are a very brave team, they play very good from the back. They have a very clear idea of what they have to do, with three very dangerous players in attack. Even players who were always on the bench before are performing well, a lot of players. They are performing with a lot of personality, they also have one of the best couples (Dimitri Chatziisaias and Suresh Meitei) in (the) center-back (position) in the competition. If we want to win this game, we will have to play a good game."
The Spaniard conveyed his concerns about the impending threat of multiple suspensions haunting his team when he was asked about the player's status update ahead of their next match.
"Leander D'Cunha is out till after the break, after which he will be ready again. Suspension no, but we have one more player with three yellow cards, Mohammed Yasir. So total, five players with three yellow cards. But this is a normal situation towards the end of a season," he stated.
I am enjoying myself with the team: Borja Herrera

Borja Herrera, the 31-year-old Spanish midfielder who signed on for the Gaurs during the January transfer window, joined the head coach for the pre-match press conference ahead of their match against Punjab FC. Herrera has had a favorable few matches while getting accustomed to his new outfit. So far this season, he has made six appearances and provided an assist for the Gaurs. 

The 31-year-old provided valuable insights into his experience of adapting to the squad. In addition, he shared the team's approach for the remaining fixtures.
He said, "I am enjoying myself with the team, I can see that the team is very good, we know each other's dynamics than before, and now we have to continue the same line of approach until the end and prepare for the playoff."
"Now the most important is the next game, game by game, win by win, and then let's see finally where we can arrive," he added.
Borja shared his thoughts on facing Punjab FC and acknowledged it won't be easy for the Gaurs to win against them.
"Punjab FC is a very good team, they are now in a good dynamic, you have very good players, good foreigners. For sure it's a tough game for us, we have to be ready and do our best to win the game," He said as the press conference came to a close.