ISL 2021-22: We can make the playoffs, says FC Goa coach Derrick Pereira

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Bambolim (Goa), Jan 13 (IANS) FC Goa coach Derrick Pereira on Thursday said that the team has the potential to make the playoffs in the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League.

“We believe in ourselves that we can still make it (the ISL playoffs). We have to take things match by match. The most important thing right now is to get a win against NorthEast,” Pereira said at the pre-match press conference.

“About the team – we have been improving. We have been solid at the back lately. We got our first clean sheet of the season in the last game. Going forward, we have to look to be better with our finishing in the attacking third. We are creating chances and now we have to finish those,” he said.

FC Goa will look to build on their newfound momentum when they take on lowly NorthEast United FC at the Athletic Stadium, here on Friday. The game will see history be ing made as two Indian head coaches — Derrick Pereira and Khalid Jamil — will face each other in the league for the first time.

Inconsistent performances from both sides see them occupy two of the bottom three positions. However, with the league wide open, three points will see FC Goa jump up to 5th on the table as just four points separate the Gaurs from a place in the playoffs. A win, thus will be vital if they are to stake a claim for a spot in the top four.

“It’s tough, given the challenges we are facing. We are constantly learning. We can’t always just look at them and fret. We have to overcome these challenges,” he said.

“When we didn’t have practices, we had to plan for individual training sessions inside rooms. We used our lawns at the hotel. More than physical, it’s tasking mentally. However, we can’t just keep focusing on the problems. I’m happy that Indian coaches are getting to coach in the ISL. I think, if they are given more exposure and experience, the coach will get better,” Pereira said.

–IANS

inj/cs

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