Some of our players need to step up: FC Goa’s Derrick Pereira after draw against Odisha FC

FC Goa head coach Derrick Pereira was relieved following FC Goa’s 1-1 draw with Odisha FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Tuesday.

Jonathas Cristian converted a penalty and gave the lead to OFC in the 61st minute. A victory for the East Indian side looked certain but a goal in the dying embers of the game by Alexander Jesuraj equalized the score.

Match Report: Alexander Jesuraj scores a late equalizer as FC Goa hold Odisha FC

This draw keeps Odisha FC in the hunt for the semi-final spots and sees them climb up the Hero ISL table to 7th, while FC Goa remains in 9th place and faces an uphill battle for making the top four.

Derrick Pereira addressed the media after the game.

Here are some excerpts from his press conference:

In terms of statistics, both teams were not too far apart. Is this a sense of relief given a late draw?

I would say yes, I mean, a point has given us something to look for in the next five matches. It would have been disappointing if we lost this match. We went in with an intent to do well and get the three points, we had some chances to convert, which we couldn't. And I think the team did their best. But by saying that, I would say, some of our players need to step up a bit and try to give more than what they did today.

FC Goa has taken the most shots, but the conversation has not been up to the mark. What is the process behind that particular style of play?

We are a team where we keep the ball and look to create opportunities, which we did today. I think we did well, going forward. Yes, this has been a weakness in this season, converting those chances. In each and every match, we have created chances but couldn't convert them. And that has been our downfall this season.

You have a nine-day break before your next game, how do you plan to utilize it?

We'll have to go back to the drawing board and see what we can do to get back into our winning ways. That has been the thought in everybody's mind. We are putting in good performances, but somehow end up either losing or drawing the match. After this break, players will get time to relax their minds and get away from the pressure. And since it's now it's out of our hands to qualify for the semi-finals. So we'll give our best and look to the future.

You have five games left of the league phase. Are you confident of making the top four?

It's doubtful, it's very tough now, very tough. Unless the top teams drop points, then it could be a possibility. Otherwise, no.

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