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Football Reporting


FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando: We have good players but we need to be a team

The Spanish coach feels that his side needs to connect better, especially as they have kept only one clean sheet in eight games…

A rejuvenated FC Goa side who have had a six-day break before facing Hyderabad FC on Wednesday is eager to build on their fortuitous win against Jamshedpur FC

Juan Ferrando feels that his team is yet to hit top gear and that will only be possible when the individuals focus more on the collective output. 

“We need to improve game by game but I think we are not in 100 per cent performance. We have very good players in my squad but we need to be a team. This is difficult because there are a lot of games and not a lot of training (training sessions) and then we have to work under pressure to get three points.”

The Spanish coach feels that the encounter against Hyderabad will be a tough one but they also have a plan which they would like to impose. 

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“It will be a difficult game because they are very good in transition and positional attack. There are a lot of details when you play against different teams but it’s necessary to put forward a few details because they will have more ways to play.

“I prepare a plan but don’t forget that Hyderabad’s plan can also be different. Maybe tomorrow they play 4-4-2 with (Fran) Sandaza and Aridane (Santana). In this case, it’s necessary to control the last pass but we don’t know the plan for Hyderabad.”

Meanwhile, Goa have conceded a handful of goals through set-pieces and this is one of the reasons that they have been able to keep just one clean sheet, that too against the league’s lowest-scoring team i.e. Odisha FC. But the coach is content as long as his team scores one more than the opponent. 

“In my mind, there are two points. Firstly, I’m not worried if we concede goals but the most important is to score more goals. The second point about set-pieces – for example, we have conceded three goals in penalties – it’s very important to know why. In my opinion, it’s very important [for my players] to connect. When we are working in the defensive line, it’s very important to understand the zones, space and who is there in free space. We need time as we need to change game by game. ATK [Mohun Bagan] or Bengaluru, maybe they have more success because they have worked together year by year.

“We need to find the best position for everybody. It depends on the opponents. For example [Roy] Krishna likes to attack in free space, or [Nerijus] Valskis as a reference. We need to prepare the team for different points. So it’s necessary to work on these details,” Ferrando pointed.

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The ISL Shield winners have been over-reliant on Igor Angulo and to some extent on Jorge Ortiz for goals but the coach feels that it is just a matter of time before other players step up.

“Now it’s Igor but you see for example against NorthEast [United] Alberto Noguera missed two or three opportunities, Lenny missed a few opportunities against Odisha. At the end of the day, I am happy for Igor and Ortiz. Maybe tomorrow it can be [Alexander] Romario or Edu Bedia in one action. The most important thing is, when we are working on an attack, everybody has opportunities,” the Goa coach ended.


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