Ferrando wants to instill a winning mentality in his FC Goa squad…
The Goan outfit, under new coach Juan Ferrando, host Bengaluru FC at the Fatorda stadium in Goa as the two teams open their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign on Sunday.
“Everybody knows that the pre-season was very short and the problem for us and other teams is that all the players were out of action for seven months. I feel that all the teams are not ready for 90 minutes,” opined the Spanish coach.
“It’s time to pay attention to the mentality of the players and it’s very important to take care of injuries. In these situations, we need to forget stress and to improve the team game-by-game,” he added.
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The former Volos FC made a point stating that while in Europe players have a strong mentality, this is an area which needs to be focussed on in order to make the players understand its importance.
“Tomorrow (Sunday) we play against a very good team because we know Bengaluru are with the same coach (Carles Cuadrat) and more or less with the same philosophy. Now it’s a new chapter and a new (FC Goa) team with only six weeks of working together. There are some points that are difficult but there are positives and all players ready for tomorrow.
“In Europe, it is totally different. Everybody had a strong mentality (in Europe). I hope day-by-day it gets better but it’s normal. Here it’s necessary to help the players to understand the mentality.”
Ferrando believes that Ishan Pandita, through his experience in Spain where he played in the lower divisions, would certainly help his Indian team-mates.
“He is a new player for us. I hope he gives a better performance and helps the team. This is the same with all players. Now he has a good opportunity in the ISL. He is working hard and he is of help to the Indian players with his experience from Spain.”
Sergio Lobera was at the helm of FC Goa for close to three seasons where he led the club to a play-off spot on each occasion. Ferrando will be expected to at least match the same feat, if not go one better.
“Lobera has done a wonderful job with very good games. Goa was the champions of the regular season last year. Now it’s a new chapter, with new young players. We have to be compact with the new players and our mentality is the same – to do better day-by-day and game-by-game and win. Last season is in the past and now the most important is the present. The past was wonderful but today is a new day,” he maintained.
Asked about his priroties between winning the ISL trophy or finishing atop the standings, Ferrando answered stating that professional football is all about getting results.
“My mentality is to win every game, not only (ISL) trophy. When we play 11 versus 11, it’s very important that everybody has the mentality to win because when you are professional, you need to have the mentality to win games. This is not an academy to learn – here we need to give high performance and the only objective is to win.”
Lenny Rodrigues has played for Bengaluru FC in the past before joining the Goan franchise two seasons back.
“Bengaluru has a strong team and so do we. t’s not about Bengaluru being strong but the mentality of the players. If you’re mentally strong, you can do better. Everyone is giving their best in the training sessions and so I think we are ready for tomorrow,” the Goan echoed Ferrando’s sentiments.
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