FC Goa coach confident of team’s chances in Super Cup

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Panjim, March 29 (IANS) FC Goa coach Derrick Pereira is optimistic of his teams chances as they kick off their Super Cup campaign with a tough first-round fixture against two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions ATK on April 3.

After a disappointing loss to Chennaiyin FC in the semi-finals of the ISL, Goa are looking to fire back in the Super Cup in a bid to obtain their first piece of silverware.

Pereira will make history by being the first Indian to coach an ISL side.

Goa have registered six foreign players for the competition, leaving out Moroccan midfield dynamo Ahmed Jahouh and Dutch youngster Mark Sifneos.

ISL top scorer Ferran Corominas will be available for Goa.

Pereira was confident about his team’s chances in the competition, explaining that the team is looking to make amends in the Super Cup.

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“We were unlucky in the ISL semi-finals. We put in a lot of effort in the last three league games to reach the semi-finals and that ultimately took a toll on us. We have enough quality in the side to win this tournament.

“Football however, is an unpredictable sport and as such, we have to take our chances if we want to win this tournament,” he said.

Edu Bedia has been an important member of the side and has played a number of games in the heart of midfield, scoring one goal in the ISL.

Talking about his partnership with Jahouh, he said, “Jahouh was an important player for the side and he will be missed. However, I am a professional and whatever shape the coach asks me to play in, I will do so.

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“I have played alongside Pronay during the ISL apart from Jahouh. So it doesn’t matter who I have to play with. What matters is that I do well. We are all looking forward to having a good tournament and winning the trophy.”

Winger Mandar Rao Dessai featured in every game for Goa in the ISL. The Goan who usually operates on the left flank was given the freedom to switch flanks often during the tournament and used this strategy to good effect.

“Throughout my career I have operated only on the left flank. But this year, the coach asked me to move to the right as well. This gave me the opportunity to cut in and take shots,” he said.

–IANS

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