• Mon. May 23rd, 2022

Derrick Pereira: We missed the services of some key players

A full-strength FC Goa side breezed past Chennaiyin FC last week, but afterwards lost some important players to COVID-19 and injuries before going down 2-0 to ATK Mohun Bagan on Tuesday.

Head coach Derrick Pereira believes that the virus played a prominent role in hampering their plans for the rest of the season.

“This is not an excuse – it’s true that we had some COVID-19 positive cases in our camp in the past few days. We couldn’t train yesterday either, because of certain reasons. We missed the services of some key players in the midfield,” he explained after the final whistle.

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The tactician, however, was also quick to admit that there were a few things which his team could have done better against Juan Ferrando and Co.

“The midfield department did not do as well as expected. We lost the ball a number of times, and I think that hampered our performance. The early goal in the first half, and the miss-pass in the second half that led to their second goal, put a lot of pressure on us,” he opined.

Focus on youth development and future

FC Goa have always been on the good books of fans when it comes to player development. In fact, it was Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco – two former Gaurs – who troubled them the most on Tuesday, with Manvir also scoring both the goals in the clash.

“It’s a process and it’s always there. We still have hopes of qualifying for the playoffs and we will work as hard as we can to improve our position on the points table. Along with that, we will be working on the team’s future also,” Pereira said.

“The youngsters who deserve more opportunities will definitely get them. That said, we also can’t simply push them into the deep side of the pool. We surely have some very talented boys with us, and they have to be gradually integrated into the first team. Giving them chances at the appropriate time is important.

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“It’s always nice to see Liston, Manvir and others perform well, not only at the club level but also at the national level. We’re proud of their development and will continue to help more players like this,” the 59-year-old signed off.

FC Goa will return to action on Saturday, February 19, when they lock horns with table-toppers Hyderabad FC. 

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