Indian Super League (ISL) side FC Goa’s chief coach Juan Ferrando said on Sunday that his players had “performed on a high level and done great as a team” in the recently concluded Asian Champions League (ACL) Group Stage, but they need to improve their tactical aspects.
FC Goa did well to draw three games – two against Qatar’s Al Rayyan and one against UAE’s Al Wahda – but also lost three games (two to Iran’s Persepolis FC and one two Al Wahda) in Group E.
“I think the players have performed on a high level and have done great as a team. However, this experience has shown us we need to improve many tactical aspects on the pitch so we can be more competitive at the international level,” Ferrando told fcgoa.in.
FC Goa finished third in Group E (West Region).
In the lead-up, many didn’t give the Goan outfit much of a chance in light of their inexperience, being the first-ever Indian club to feature in the group stage of the prestigious continental club competition.
However, the ISL outfit, under the guidance of Ferrando, surprised one and all with its performances.
“A win would have been huge for Indian football. It would have been a historic achievement. Also, it would have been a just reward for the hard work that the players, the technical staff and everyone at FC Goa have been putting in over the last few months while living in a bio bubble.”
Asked how the AFC Champions League experience was going to help the team in the future, the 40-year-old Spaniard, who joined FC Goa ahead of the 2020-21 ISL, said: “I hope they have learned about what playing in an international competition means, the effort it requires to play at such a high level.
“I hope this gives them the motivation to perform even better in the training sessions in the future as these games require one to be at one’s 100% — physically and psychologically.”