There are a lot of things which we could have done better: FC Goa's Derrick Pereira

FC Goa head coach Derrick Pereira believes his days in the bubble has taught him a lot of things as they prepare to take on Kerala Blasters FC in their final match of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season at Athletic Stadium in Panaji, Goa on Sunday evening.

After an underwhelming season, FC Goa are ninth in the league standings with 18 points in 19 matches, but are placed with an opportunity to blow off the Tuskers' semi-final hopes, provided that they secure a win against the Ivan Vukomanovic-led side.

Ahead of their clash against Kerala Blasters FC, head coach Pereira and captain Edu Bedia addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Pereira’s press conference.

Is there anything you would have done differently?

Pereira: Yes we could have done it differently. I have learnt some things. I could have handled certain situations in a different way. But it’s a learning process for each and everyone. Being in a bubble is not easy. We had to make changes to the lineups in the last moments because of COVID-19. There are a lot of things which we could have done better, like handling the team in training sessions when we were not allowed to train.

What are the differences you have noticed in the team from the time you took charge till now?

Pereira: Right now our focus is on Sunday’s match. This was the first time I experienced living in a bubble, the players’ mentality and attitude. There are a lot of things I have understood coming here. The changes I saw in the whole team was that they were mentally strong. There were some issues which had to be handled but the players gave their best whenever they went on the pitch. Decision making is an area where we need to be more precise. Individual mistakes have led us down. It was a good experience for me and I have learnt how to handle teams in this situation.

What are your thoughts on the match against Kerala Blasters FC?

Pereira: We want to end on a good note. The focus is more on our game. We always want to perform well, to the best of our abilities and that’s what we will try to do tomorrow as well.

Here is the excerpt from Bedia’s press conference.

What brought you to India when you were at the peak of your career? Your contract ends this season, are you looking at anything beyond this season?

Bedia: In that moment of my career, five years ago, I needed to change some things and find a new experience. I accepted the offer from FC Goa and at this moment, I think it was one of the best decisions. I never thought I would stay here for five years. Now I need to rest after the last two years. I think this season was mentally very difficult for everyone, not just for FC Goa but for other teams as well. I am very happy. My family is very happy in Goa. We will see.

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