FC Goa ranks ninth in the points table having collected 15 points from the 15 matches they have played this season. They are winless in their last five matches and have collected only three points. Pereira’s men drew 1-1 against Odisha FC in their last match. A stoppage-time strike from Romario Jesuraj gave them a point to take home.
Meanwhile their opponents Chennaiyin FC are placed 8th on the standings. The Marina Machans are going through a difficult time just like the Gaurs. They narrowly lost out to Mumbai City FC in their last game as the Islanders scored at the end to win the game by a 1-0 scoreline and take all three points. Both defense and attack have been a major concern for both Goa and Chennaiyin this season.
FC Goa coach Derrick Pereira and goalkeeper Naveen Kumar addressed the media in the pre-match press conference ahead of their game against Chennaiyin FC on Tuesday, 9th February at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa. Below are the excerpts from Derrick Pereira’s press conference.
FC Goa can still make it into the top four mathematically. Derrick Pereira expressed how he is looking at the current situation and also the chances of the Gaurs making it to the playoffs.
“We have said it before as well, we will take it game by game. We are hoping the results come our way. The situation here has improved. I see a lot of positive feelings in the team. The players and the whole team are working hard. I think for the first time we have everyone available for selection tomorrow.”
Considering both the team’s last results, Derrick was asked if he thinks FC Goa will be favourites going into the match.
“We have one of the best teams in the league and we got some excellent players. We are working to build this team for the present and for the future. Considering all this, we are still one of the best teams, of course, the results don’t show it.”
Derrick has not yet written off the possibility for his side to qualify for the play-offs. On being asked about his views on FC Goa’s chances this is what he said.
“I’ve said it before that we’ll go match by match. From now on, we are hoping that the results will come in our favor. The situation here has improved. I see a lot of positive feelings in the team. The players are working hard.”
FC Goa have defeated Chennaiyin FC before. Derrick spoke on if it gives the team a different feel going into the match.
“Each and every game is different. We go into a match to give our best and get the best result. We have learned from our mistakes. Hopefully, if we perform the way we did in the first leg we will get a good result.”
Chennaiyin FC played two days back while FC Goa played almost nine days back. Pereira spoke about if he thinks it’s an added advantage for FC Goa.
“It depends on the team, how they are going to approach, what will be their formation, and the players available. The same thing is with us also. The focus will be on our game and as far as the advantage is concerned, all the teams are prepared for this type of fixture. Hopefully, it will be in our favour tomorrow.”
Here are the excerpts of goalkeeper Naveen Kumar from the press conference.
Naveen spoke on how difficult is it to be the goalkeeper of FC Goa given the possessional style of football the club plays.
“We are professionals. Sometimes it is difficult but you have to adjust to the game style. I am quite comfortable with this style of football. I like our plan and we have been training for five years.”
The veteran goalkeeper spoke on how’s the competition between him and Dheeraj. He even talked about their relationship off the field.
“We are very good friends, like brothers. We have played together in Kerala Blasters FC as well. We are doing our best. Whenever the coach gives us a chance we give our 100%, and we give each other confidence.”
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