FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando believes that his players are ready to play according to a new plan in the remaining group stage matches of the ongoing 2021 AFC Champions League. The ‘Gaurs’ have lost two and shared points in a similar number of games so far in the continental club competition.
FC Goa started their AFC Champions League campaign with an inspiring 0-0 draw against Qatari side Al-Rayyan, while they followed it up with a similar result in the next encounter with Al-Wahada of UAE. Even though a 1-2 loss to Iranian heavyweights Persepolis FC was a decent result, Juan Ferrando’s side suffered a 0-4 defeat in the second of their back-to-back games against the visitors.
The Spaniard feels that the lop-sided result has taken a toll on the players psychologically, but feels they need to scrutinise the reasons for the loss. However, with them set to face Al-Rayyan this Monday evening, he feels that the players are ready to adopt new changes in the strategy ahead of the remaining matches.
"First of all, when you lose by four goals it becomes very difficult psychologically. But also you need to find out why the result was not good and then explain to the players about a new plan and of course, we can improve. We can change, we can prepare a new plan. The players are ready. In this case, I am sure the result will be better than the last two games,” said Juan Ferrando, ahead of Monday’s game.
Al-Rayyan, on the other hand, with three losses and a draw, find themselves at the bottom of the points table in Group E and are desperate for a win. The FC Goa boss feels that the second leg would be more challenging than the first because the players are already drained out after playing three matches in a short span.
"The second leg is different. Firstly, the players are more tired. In the first leg, the players were more ready but now after 10 or 12 days and four matches the players are tired. For me, it is a different game but let us not forget we are playing against a very good team,” explained the Spaniard.
“Al-Rayyan, in this match, will have two new players as two of their players (Ahmed Abdul-Maqsoud and Frank Com) are suspended. This game is important for both the teams and it will be different from the first leg."