The pressure has been there because you’re expected to win: FC Goa head coach Derrick Pereira

FC Goa coach Derrick Pereira demands his players to keep focus and reduce individual mistakes as they take on Odisha FC in match 78 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at the Athletic Stadium, Bambolim on Tuesday.

The Gaurs rank ninth in the points table with 14 points in 14 matches. They have picked up only two points in their last four matches. They are three points behind Odisha FC at the eighth position having played a game more than them.

FC Goa lost 0-1 to Jamshedpur FC in their last match. They had more possession and better passing accuracy than JFC. FCG took 11 shots at goal out of which only two of them were on target.

Ahead of FC Goa’s clash with Odisha FC, coach Pereira and right-back Seriton Fernandes addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Pereira’s press conference.

Do you think the do-or-die mentality is adding pressure on the team?

This has been our mentality, the winning mentality. We tend to go all out on attack. And we have performed well both defensively and in offensive play. The pressure has been there because you’re expected to win. It’s part of life for professional players.

You had mentioned earlier if the team gets a couple of results in their favour then you will change the approach. With six games remaining, what’s the approach?

Our intent is always to get those three points. We will keep fighting and give our best. There are some things which are not in our control. But if we stop losing focus individually and cut-off our individual mistakes both in the attacking and defensive play then I think we should get a good result in the next match.

FC Goa hit the goalpost three times in the last game. How devastating was it for the team?

We all are disappointed with the result of the last match. We always go with an intent to give our best. But somehow the ball didn’t go in. We have lost or drawn the majority of our matches and that’s why we are struggling this season.

How good was it to see Brandon Fernandes back out on the pitch?

Brandon is one of our key players. We missed him in the first half (of the season). You could see his presence made a lot of difference in the team. He gives us more options going forward. He needs to be more clinical upfront. He has been an integral part of the club.

Are you looking to change something in the attacking third?

January was a tough month for us. Since yesterday we have been allowed to go out of our rooms and have meals at common areas. This will help the players mentally. It will help us to focus more on the aspects of the game, whether defence or attack.

Here are the excerpts from Fernandes’s press conference.

This is more or less the first time you and FC Goa have struggled to get going, so how are you dealing with the situation?

We are struggling this year. I still have faith in my team and coach. We have six matches remaining so we still need to give our 100%. If we have confidence in each other then we can surely climb up the table.

With results not going your way and the whole covid-19 situation, how difficult is it as a player?

It’s very difficult in the bio-bubble and the results also haven’t been in our favour. It’s very challenging menatlly. I hope we go with a positive attitude in the remaining matches.

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