Sat, 23 Mar, 2019

Depleted FC Goa run into E Bengal

With five players suspended and several injured, Gaurs face tough test in semis

16th April 2018, 02:53 Hrs



East Bengal coach Khalid Jamil dismissed talk about the Kolkata football club having an advantage over FC Goa in the Super Cup semi-final, stressing “it’s 11v11 on the field”.  

Reacting to comments about five Goa players staying suspended for the match, Jamil stated: “In football it’s all played on the turf. You can never take things lightly. It’s all about that specific day,” he stressed. “FC Goa are a very good side and they will surely make it difficult for us.”  

Central defender Eduardo Ferreira, however, admitted that there is “some pressure” on the red and golds. “Every match is important and comes with its own pressure. It’s not going to be any different tomorrow,” Eduardo Ferreira maintained. “If you want to be successful you need to work hard and press harder all throughout. We won’t be taking it easy in training. It’s another final for us. We need to stay concentrated.”  

Jamil, who was a player under Goa coach Derrick Pereira in the dream Mahindra United squad, rated his former coach very highly. “Derrick is a great motivator. His teams are always defensively very strong,” Jamil certified.  

Meanwhile, Pereira informed that his players “will put up their best”. “We have five players suspended and there are also some injuries which have hit us hard. We have 14 players at the moment including two goalkeepers and a lot of things are going on in my mind,” Pereira stated.  

“I am confident that whoever takes the field tomorrow will give their best. We have had a very good team throughout the season. Tomorrow is their chance to grab it. If you need to achieve results you need to perform,” he added.  

“Obviously, the understanding and combination play on the pitch may be lacking as some of them may be playing for the first time. But we have trained together for long. The players are all professionals and know how to react to situations. East Bengal have a full squad but it won’t be easy for them.”  

Reiterating his coach’s views, FC Goa player Pratesh Shirodkar said: “We accept this challenge. All the players who haven’t played so far are confident and we will work hard for a victory.”