There’s mental pressure on the players, our defence has lost focus at times: FC Goa's Derrick Pereira on top-four race

FC Goa coach Derrick Pereira believes the players need to perform to the best of their abilities as they take on Jamshedpur FC in match 74 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at Athletic Stadium, Bambolim on Friday.

FC Goa are in ninth position with 14 points in 13 matches. They have only registered one win in their last eight games. A win against JFC will take them level on points with Bengaluru FC in sixth position.

FC Goa played a 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC in their last match. They had more ball possession and better passing accuracy than their opponents.

Ahead of FC Goa’s clash with Jamshedpur FC, coach Pereira and midfielder Princeton Rebello addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Pereira’s press conference.

The gap between FCG and the top four is seven points now, do you think the team can still make it to the playoffs?

It’s tough now. We are going to take it match by match. We shouldn’t be in the position we are right now, for whatever reasons. The players give their best everyday. These are tough conditions here. The results are not going our way. There’s a lot of mental pressure on the players and that’s why they tend to lose focus during the games. We have to overcome all this by giving more than our 100%. 

What do you make of Jamshedpur FC?

They are a good team overall. They have a set style of play. On any given day they look like a very strong side. But we need to perform to the best of our abilities. We need to look for loopholes and try to put up a good performance.

FC Goa has had more ball possession in most of the matches, are you looking at changing your team or formation in the upcoming matches?

The thing is that’s our style, to play possession based football. It’s been a concern that we haven’t been able to open-up the defensive line of our opponents. Our finishing touches in front of the opponents’ goal haven’t been good. And our defence has lost focus at times. Of course we need to look at our formation, make some changes here and there and improve our rankings at the table.

Brandon Fernandes came off the bench and did well, so what are you expecting from him in the coming matches?

He has been one of our key players over the years. We have definitely missed him in the previous matches. We want him to get back to his 100%. He came on the field after a long time in the last match and had good movement with and without the ball. We are working to get him back to his best as soon as possible.

Here are the excerpts from Rebello’s press conference.

Jamshedpur FC are in the top half of the table, what are your thoughts on the match?

To be honest we just want to win and climb up the table. That is our mentality. The coach and the management believes in the team and so do we as players. It's a great opportunity for us to move up. We will give our best.

What goes through a player’s mind when they have to stay inside a room and there’s so much uncertainty?

It’s very difficult for any player or staff. We have support from our management. We had to workout in our rooms for a few days but the most important thing is we love to play football.

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