FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando and midfielder Muhammed Nemil addressed the media in an online press conference ahead of the team’s third Durand Cup game against Jamshedpur FC. The Spaniard talked about his plans, about the match officials, and much more.
Juan began by addressing Jorge Ortiz’s injury, he said
“Now it’s a difficult moment because we don’t know exactly. We know that Ortiz can’t continue playing in this tournament.” He added that the players should be protected from getting such injuries in the future.
“I know everybody is talking about improving in this tournament but if the players are coming and then they have important injuries, the teams will not like to participate here.”
The coach discussed the team’s approach to using foreign players at the tournament as well.
“Durand Cup is a prestigious cup. We are talking with the coaching staff. It is a great moment to participate with foreign players and also the young players.”
He also expressed his concern about the refereeing in the tournament
“I am very upset about the level of the referees because in this case, they are not protecting the players. Goa is coming here with foreign players, with a good squad. Maybe in the next season two-three teams want to come here to participate with the best players, but after this moment, we don’t know because it’s so dangerous for our squad.”
On being asked about contacting the authorities about the injury he said:
“It is the same. For example, after the game, I was talking with the match commissioner and I don’t know, he was laughing. For the club, for the tournament, for everybody, it is not a good moment when there is an injury like that of Ortiz. His job is to protect the players and to protect all the teams. In this case, I repeat that I’m very, very, very upset.”
He further added
“For us now it is a big question, is it necessary to stay here and work or maybe stay in Goa and prepare for the preseason.”
Club CEO Ravi Pushkar replying on the same topic said,
“We have written to the tournament organizers as well, clearly outlining the taste that is left with us. Tackles can happen in a football game. I mean that is the nature of the sport so, we are not particularly concerned about the fact that the tackle went in and we are not trying to victimize any player or any individual incident but we are just hoping that there are rules and regulations in place and we hope they will act upon that. As organizers we want them to show us that our players can be protected. The coaches are there, the foreign players and there is a little bit of fear within the team. But the right action should be taken, allowing us to understand that there is safety for our players and they are protected. We would love to continue in this tournament and continue to keep sending our strongest teams possible. We have written to the federation, unfortunately, we’ve not had a response from them yet and we continue to keep following up.” He mentioned that the issue has not yet been addressed.
On asking about the ISL fixtures, the gaffer replied that they are working on the current scenario and are not thinking about the future games as of now.
“The ISL is in November and we have time. A lot of time. I think the most important thing is to not lose the energy and focus in the future.”
Speaking about the game against Jamshedpur, Juan said
“Our focus is to prepare the team. I’m not thinking about it now. We have 29 players and we want to protect 29 players.” He said everybody needs to be ready and all the players are important for the upcoming ISL season.
Juan commended Devendra’s recent performance, who fills the shoes of Ishan Pandita as the latter completed a move to Jamshedpur FC this summer.
“I am very happy with Devendra because last season he was out of the squad for the first two months. But for me, he is a great player because he was learning and working hard. Everybody knows his level from the Champions League and the last few games. He helped the team a lot. He is an excellent person and an excellent player. Of course, he needs to improve and understand some points in attacking. But for now, it’s our job. He is in a good way and a smart player.”
In conclusion, Juan admitted that he will be a vital asset for FC Goa going forward.
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