Derrick Pereira – Pressure of winning games impacted our performance


FC Goa are currently in the ninth position on the table with 14 points in 13 matches. They have only registered one win in their last eight games. 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.

FC Goa head coach Derrick Pereira and midfielder Princeton Rebello addressed the media ahead of their game against Jamshedpur FC on Friday, 28th January at the GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim.

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Here are the excerpts from Derrick Pereira’s press conference.

FC Goa has had more ball possession in most of the matches. Coach Derrick answered if he was 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 and create more goalscoring opportunities. Our finishing touches in front of the opponents’ goal haven’t been good, and our defense has lost focus at times. Our focus has been more on getting good results and being at the top of the table, so that puts a lot of pressure and there were matches in the past where we dominated and created many chances, but we could not finish those games with maximum points.

“That’s the reason why we tend to lose our focus individually and we get punished. Our concern is not just conceding fewer goals but we also need to improve our finishing in the attacking third. If we do that it will have less pressure on our defense. 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. Pereira spoke about what he is expecting from Brandon 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% fitness level. 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 fitness level as soon as possible. We will see and take a call on how fast we can get him in his top league level.”

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The gap between FC Goa 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 to match by match and keep working hard. We are a team that shouldn’t be in the position we are right now, for whatever reasons. The players give their best every day. The players are giving their best and these are tough conditions here. The results are not going our way due to certain reasons. There’s a lot of mental pressure on the players and that’s why they tend to lose focus during the games.

“All these factors have played a major role in our position in the standings this season. We have to overcome all this by giving more than 100% effort into the match both while attacking and defending. If we want to get results we will have to make a lot of difference to our approach in the remaining matches.”

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 and get the win in tomorrow’s match.”

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Here are the excerpts from Princeton Rebello’s press conference.

Jamshedpur FC are in the top half of the table. Princeton was asked about his thoughts on the match.

“To be honest we just want to win and climb up the table. That is our mentality. We know presently we are in the bottom half of the table, but the coach and the management believe in the team and so do we as players. It’s a great opportunity for us to perform against Jamshedpur FC and move up the table. We will try our best and give our all to win the game.”

Living in a bubble during this situation where someone or the other is getting infected isn’t easy. Princeton spoke about 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 member because we are without our families. We have support from our coaches and management. We had to work out in our rooms for a few days but the most important thing is we love to play football. It’s not easy to stay in a bubble as people think.”

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