FC Goa look for inspiration ahead of encounter against Highlanders




Panaji, 10th October 2016: FC Goa find themselves at the bottom of the table following the loss to Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. With the tournament in its second phase already, the Gaurs need to win almost every game from now on if they have to qualify for the semi-finals of the competition. With the morale of the team at a low, the squad needs to find inspiration in order to turn their season around. Earlier in the season, FC Goa crashed to a 2-0 defeat to NorthEast United FC and a victory against the Highlanders at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will help in their quest for a top four position.

Julio Cesar da Silva E Souza of FC Goa during the warmup session during match 22 of the Indian Super League (ISL) season 3 between FC Goa and Kerala Blasters FC held at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa, India on the 24th October 2016.

Julio Cesar da Silva E Souza of FC Goa during the warmup session during match 22 of the Indian Super League (ISL) season 3 between FC Goa and Kerala Blasters FC held at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa, India on the 24th October 2016.

Assistant coach, Fernando Vanucci who addressed the media at the pre-match press conference spoke about the need to take inspiration from the game itself. “We have to take inspiration from the game of football itself. Take for example the first season where, from the bottom of the table we qualified for the semi-finals with a game to spare. I’m not saying we will repeat that. I’m saying we need to take inspiration from that and forget previous results. Therefore tomorrow, whoever plays for us will play for victory and nothing else,” he said.

With injuries and suspensions plaguing the squad, the assistant coach stressed on the fact that what happens on the field matters and not what happens off it. “We are looking to play football. Yes, decisions have not gone our way but we can’t do anything about it now. We must put that behind us and move forward. We will put out the best possible team tomorrow who will go out to win the match. We have to focus on issues to fix our team. Not any external issues that we have no control over. That’s the most important thing,” the assistant coach opined.

With skipper Gregory Arnolin and midfielder Richarlyson Barbosa out through suspension, the starting eleven is likely to look different this time around. Laxmikant Kattimani who had a superb game is likely to continue between the sticks. Rafael Dumas who played as a defensive midfielder in the last game is likely to drop back into defence alongside Luciano Sobrosa and Raju Gaekwad. Sanjay Balmuchu is certain to take up a defensive midfield role and Trindade Goncalves who missed out on a starting berth in the last match is expected to partner him in the centre of the park. Veteran Spaniard Joffre missed out on the last match through an injury and it is uncertain as to whether the attacking midfielder will be fit to face the Highlanders. In his absence, Sahil Tavora might be given a chance as the creator in chief. Rafael Coelho was withdrawn at half time against Kerala as a precaution after he picked up a slight niggle. He is likely to be fit in time to face the Highlanders along with Indian striker Robin Singh. If Reinaldo and Julio Cesar are fit to play, it will be interesting to see if the Brazilian coach gives them a role to play.

With three home games in a row, FC Goa will be desperate to get twelve points starting with the match against NorthEast United FC.

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