Kolkata: FC Goa have been flexing their muscles in the Durand Cup ever since the heist began early this month. The 100% record has been characterised by a dominant streak with the Gaurs dominating possession and scoring goals.
In fact, Juan Ferrando has seen his side getting firmer with their strides with each passing game. 10 goals in the past two games and 14 in the 4 games played – without never really having to call on the big guns have been an indication of the performances put on by the youngsters in the middle.
The head coach will again be looking at the youngster putting in a shift with Brandon Fernandes, Glan Martins and Seriton Fernandes now away on national team duties for the SAFF Cup.
This showdown against Bengaluru FC is poised to be the Gaurs’ biggest test so far even though the Blues have fielded an all-India team with many of the players from their reserve side making the ranks.
Naushad Moosa’s boys have shown some real grit – coming from behind on three consecutive occasions to pave their way into the semis.
Juan Ferrando, though, believes that even at this stage of the tournament, the improvement of the team remains the prime focus while shunning away any mention of being as ‘favourites’ heading into the semi-final clash.
“I have been telling the same all throughout. We are here to have a good pre-season. Our target is to prepare the team, to check on the young players and to try and prepare different plans. We want to improve step by step,” remarked Juan Ferrando.
“We are not thinking like ‘it’s absolutely necessary to win the trophy’. When the Director of Football, presented this option to me, I thought, ‘Okay. This is perfect. We will have competitive games and training sessions’.
“So the pressure doesn’t exist. This (winning the tournament) is not my focus.”
The Gaurs and Juan Ferrando will have a chance to gauge their improvement tomorrow when they take on the young-looking Bengaluru FC in the semis. The game is scheduled for a 6 pm kickoff.