ISL 2017: FC Pune City’s Ranko Popovic - Will do everything to stop FC Goa from scoring

The former Real Zaragoza coach admitted that Goa have a few players with special qualities…

FC Pune City coach Ranko Popovic is of the opinion that the team which commits less mistakes would go to win the Indian Super League (ISL). He further spoke of his team’s defeat to Bengaluru FC, a game where they were in control of before Baljit Sahni committed a needless foul to earn his second booking.

“It is nice when you get goals; it’s nice for the supporters and for the league. On the other hand, there is no good in conceding goals. We cannot afford that. It should be an interesting game tomorrow (Saturday). As per my experience so far, the team that is likely to win is the one which makes less mistakes. In Tennis, the players who make less unforced errors are likely to win; it is the same here.

“I hope we make less mistakes because we had been very expensive in our errors in the last match. I hope that both teams will show an attractive game. We’ll do everything to stop FC Goa from scoring. It will be big challenge for us tomorrow (Saturday) to play against an offensive side like Goa and restrict them from scoring. The best way to keep zero (clean-sheet) means to have good attack and keep your opponent far away from goal,” said Popovic.

He praised the work done by Sergio Lobera at FC Goa given that they lead the standings. He went on to claim that some players in the Goa squad have exceptional qualities.

“Spanish football was the most attractive football in the last few years and Sergio (Lobera) has done a very good job. FC Goa are on the top of the league standings; they score many goals. The Spanish players have good mentality. Some of the players have shown special qualities. To have a strong team is always nice. It will be big challenge for us.

“We are getting stronger and better with each game. We are looking on our organization to be more compact. I hope we put up a good show in a place like this where people have passion for football. I hope we keep our goals conceded (column) zero and score a few against them,” said Popovic.

The ISL has seen several individual errors being committed all across which have had a major say in determining the results.

“Even the best of football players make mistakes and that makes football interesting. We are working on this but you can never be sure what would happen on the field because you do everything perfect in the training but things get complicated when something happens on the pitch. Tactical mistakes one can control but you can’t control these because you can’t control a human,” said Popovic philosophically.

Ranko Popovic, FC Tokyo

He mentioned that most teams in the ISL want to score one more goal than the opponent although their styles are different.

“Jamshedpur too want to score goals here. Everyone has different style and philosophy of training and games. I think for every team the plan is to score a goal more than what you receive. The supporters want to see more goals, they want to see more chances and see attractive football,” he pointed.

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The former Cerezo Osaka coach acknowledged that his team will have to put Goa on the back-foot by scoring themselves.

“The expectation to score at Goa is a big motivation for us rather than being a difficulty. It will challenge and test us to not give them many chances on goal. We will have to find a way to score goals. It will be one big test for us and I hope we do well.

“I am not someone who comes for a draw. My temperament is to always to try to win. If you do everything to win, you don’t go disappointed. Getting a result is different but you have to try. We have to put all our energy to win this game and if everyone does this from their side, you cannot go like a loser even if you lose the match,” he signed off.