This is not our limit and we have to improve more: Ferrando after Al Rayyan SC draw

FC Goa put up a strong challenge in their opening clash of the 2021 AFC Champions League against Al Rayyan SC and secured a much-deserved 0-0 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Wednesday night. The six-time Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) semi-finalists were a solid match for their opponents from Qatar on their AFC Champions League debut and defended resiliently to earn a point in Group E (West Region).

Read: Dheeraj proves impregnable in goal as FC Goa earn memorable draw on AFC Champions League debut

And Gaurs head coach Juan Ferrando was understandably happy. “We are happy because we played against a very good team. Everyone knows about the quality of their players. Playing against Laurent Blanc [Al Rayyan SC head coach] who won the World Cup in 1998. It was very difficult but we are happy with this point,” Ferrando said at the post-match press conference.

Sharing his thoughts on the match, the 40-year-old head coach said, “In football, it is difficult to stick to one plan. Imagine if we had conceded a goal in the first minute, we had to prepare a plan 'B'. Of course, our team tried to work on three plans -- 0-0, 1-0 and 0-1. Also, it is very important that the players have a clear mentality, depending on the score and the time.

“Today from 60-70 minutes, it was very difficult for us, it became impossible to play against the pressing of Al Rayyan SC who played very well. The players were very tired. But I am happy. It is necessary now to change the plan for Saturday in our next match.”

Ferrando was also of the opinion that Wednesday’s result will boost his team’s confidence in no small measure and help them in their remaining five matches in the group. “It [the result] is important because it is positive before preparing for the next game. For me, it is necessary to talk about this moment. We have five more games. The first game went well, the new target for Saturday is to further improve in attack. We have to go step-by-step and continue improving. This is not our limit and we have to improve more,” he said.

“From a head coach’s point of view, we need to grow in some details and tactics. We need to improve in certain aspects of attack because this is AFC Champions League and it is necessary to prepare and compete in every aspect.”

The Gaurs take on Al Wahda of the United Arab Emirates in their next match on Saturday (April 17).


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