In what is Ishan Pandita’s first season in the Indian Super League (ISL), he has only featured for a minute of competitive action in FC Goa’s six matches.
The striker has found game-time hard to come by as Igor Angulo has been in sublime form with six goals in five matches.
Coach Juan Ferrando was asked as to why the 22-year-old striker has struggled to feature so far in the campaign.
“Ishan is working. The coaching staff is working with him. He is a good player and we are working step-by-step with him. It is necessary to give him time. We just have 20 games and it is not possible to give minutes to everybody. He might play just five minutes, come in as a sub (substitute) in matches, so it is step-by-step.”
FC Goa have been guilty of conceding late penalties, as has been witnessed in their games against Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan. Ferrando pointed that the team has to be more focussed on which areas they tend to lose the ball, in particular those moves where they go on to concede a penalty.
“Our target is to win. But sometimes you draw and lose, maybe because of a penalty. We want to do well with young players. We are not happy conceding late penalties. We also have to think about the spaces when we lose the ball and go on to concede the penalty. It is necessary to think what happened before the penalty,” reasoned the Spaniard.
FC Goa played their last ISL game on Wednesday and are back in action on Saturday evening against Chennaiyin FC. Ferrando mentioned that while the situation at hand isn’t ideal, there is little they can do to change it. Instead they can focus their energies on making most of the little time they have to prepare for the upcoming tie.
“It is not possible to change the schedule. I like to prepare a plan and a plan B. You need time to rest. But you have to accept the schedule. It is sad that you cannot prepare so well. But no excuses, it is my job. We are trying to find a balance with different combinations.
“You have to think about the game that you are playing and the future. It is difficult to play successive games. It is better to lose one player for 45 minutes and not for two weeks. We need to improve a lot. But you don't have a lot of time. A short pre-season and not much time in between games. We want to work hard. We are making the most of the time we have. Everybody is preparing well. We like to work on the pitch but (don’t have) enough time.”
Ferrando was asked whether his team was unlucky against ATK Mohun Bagan as they gave away a penalty in the 85th minute. The former Cultural Leonesa coach didn’t want to focus on the last game and instead wants his team to concentrate on the upcoming tie against Chennaiyin FC.
“We are professionals. After losing a game, you focus on the next game. We are thinking about Chennaiyin. We have to mend the mistakes from last game and put all our energy into the next game.
“It is about controlling a game (against ATK Mohun Bagan) and we did it for 90 minutes. I am not thinking about lucky or unlucky. If we are working hard, we will have success at the end of the season. It is always about working hard on the pitch.”