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‘It’s not only about goals’ – Juan Ferrando explains Ishan Pandita’s limited game time at FC Goa


The FC Goa coach has suggested that it’s not in the interest of the club to push the situation for one player… FC Goa are right in the middle of a race to qualify for the Indian Super League (ISL) […]

The FC Goa coach has suggested that it’s not in the interest of the club to push the situation for one player…

FC Goa are right in the middle of a race to qualify for the Indian Super League (ISL) play-offs, along with NorthEast United and Hyderabad with whom they are currently level on points (23). 

In all likelihood, only two of the three teams will be able to qualify for the play-offs at most. As such, the upcoming fixtures assume huge significance for the side. 

The Gaurs take on Chennaiyin on Saturday, one of the three teams to have beaten Goa this season. Moreover, Goa have played out five consecutive draws now. However, head coach Juan Ferrando is confident ahead of the game, having just seen his side script a morale-boosting comeback against Mumbai City in a 3-3 draw last time out. 

“This team is hard working in all the games. In the end, it’s most important that the team has a strong personality and character and they want to always win. When there is pressure, the team keeps going and are always positive.

“It’s one game more (against Chennaiyin) and our mentality is to get three points. The next 90 minutes are very important for us to find the best XI. And our target is to get the goals in the end to get three points. Never are we thinking about the last game against Chennaiyin or the last (five consecutive) draws. Every game is a history and the team is only thinking about the next 90 minutes.”

Goa have had to rely on the brilliance of Ishan Pandita often as the young Indian has thrice come off the bench to salvage a point for his side with injury-time goals. He scored thrice in just about 21 minutes on the pitch but has never started a game in all of his six appearances this season.

“In the end, we decide the best 11. In this case, if I decide to use Ishan as a substitute it’s because it’s our plan. Small details are very important and it’s important that he’s learning. It’s not only about goals. It’s necessary to learn about the press and timings, [what we do] when we don’t have possession. In this case, we are working hard and it’s the same case with Devendra (Murgaonkar), Redeem (Tlang), [Makan Winkle] Chote,” Ferrando responded.

Ishan Pandita FC Goa

He added, “Of course, we are happy with Ishan because he’s doing a good job. In the last minutes if you see Ishan, it’s because we know our process. At the end, we decide the best line-up and depending on the game and situation, we decide the plan. Maybe it’s not good for everyone to talk about pushing one player. We decide everything step by step.”

The former Volos coach went on to explain that the club may have one style but a varied set of approaches to a particular tie.

“At the end, for me it’s very important that the players know about the plan. We prepare one plan for a game but in this style, there are two or three ways. Day by day the players believe in their team-mates and that’s very important. Sometimes our number 10 is [Jorge] Ortiz, sometimes Alberto (Noguera), sometimes it’s Devendra. For example, against Mumbai we used Devendra as a number 10. At the end, if the score is good, it’s good for the mentality of the dressing room,” he argued.

Ferrando also felt that Manuel Lanzarote, who previously starred for FC Goa a few seasons back, is a quality player. 

“I remember against Chennaiyin in the first round, we had two days to prepare for the game. The players were totally tired. They are tired now as well, but I think we are more ready than the first round. Everybody knows about Lanzarote. He’s very good in set-piece. It’s necessary to control this and the second ball with Memo.” 


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