Derrick Pereira: We have to play for pride

posted in Interviews by FC Goa Official on 18th February 2022

posted in Interviews

by FC Goa Official

on 18th February 2022

Derrick Pereira: We have to play for pride

Goa, 18 February, 2022: FC Goa head coach Derrick Pereira remains hopeful of his team ending the ISL season on a high. It is, however, easier said than done – with the Gaurs currently in ninth place with 18 points from 17 matches.

The Men in Orange have three games remaining in their league campaign. The first of those matches will take place on Saturday, when Pereira and Co. take on Hyderabad FC.

“Reaching the playoffs is a really tough task now. We have to play for pride. We are looking to go into the game with our best intentions and are hoping for the best,” the head coach said in the pre-match press conference on Friday.

COVID-19 plays spoilsport yet again for FC Goa

Despite not starting the season as well as they would have wanted, FC Goa had been on the rise following the initial weeks. Things took a turn for the worst, however, in January – when an outbreak of COVID-19 rendered them unable to field their strongest XI in several games.

Just ahead of the Chennaiyin game earlier this month, it looked like Lady Luck had started smiling on the Gaurs once again, but those joys were short-lived.

“Times are really tough in the ISL bio-bubble. For instance, we couldn’t train prior to our most recent game against ATK Mohun Bagan. We had some COVID-19 positive cases in the camp and hence couldn’t figure out our first XI till we reached the dressing room. These are not excuses, this is just the reality,” Derrick Pereira explained.

“Today morning, we got a couple of new COVID-19 positive cases. There also are players who have played with injuries – so once again we’re not sure about tomorrow.”

Looking only towards the future

There may be several reasons why FC Goa haven’t lived up to their hopes this season, but Derrick Pereira wants to remain practical. “There is no point in looking back,” he said.

“Yes, there were situations where we could’ve done things differently. But ultimately everyone understands that we are a good team, and that we still can challenge the top-four teams,” the 59-year-old added. As a matter-of-fact, each of the Gaurs’ remaining games are against teams that are serious contenders for the playoff spots.

All attention will now shift to the SAG Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, where FC Goa will lock horns with Manolo Marquez’ boys. The match is set to have a late-night kick-off, at 9:30 pm IST.