Mohammad Nawaz started the first 10 matches for FC Goa in the seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL). In their last two outings against Jamshedpur FC (3-0 win) and ATK Mohun Bagan (1-1 draw), Nawaz has been named on the bench with Naveen Kumar being preferred in between the sticks.
FC Goa have also roped in Dheeraj Moirangthem from ATK Mohun Bagan in the January transfer window and it looks like Nawaz may not feature for the club in the near future.
“Nawaz's future is not in Goa. It is not necessary to talk about him,” was Ferrando’s curt response on questions regarding Nawaz.
Igor Angulo is another player who hasn’t featured in the starting line-up in the last two matches and Ferrando assured that the decision was made due to the fact that the striker had carried a knock.
“Igor was not feeling well. We changed tactically to cope without him against Jamshedpur. We continued to do that against ATK Mohun Bagan. He was not at 100 per cent. But this week he was training well. He is very important for us,” said Ferrando.
FC Goa are third on the ISL table with 19 points from 12 matches and up next are Kerala Blasters, who have been in good form lately with two wins in their last three matches.
“It will be a very difficult game. They have been trying to play good football. They have different plans and are making the most of free spaces. They have a good squad. It will be a good game,” said the former Volos FC coach.
Ferrando reiterated that his side have to improve tactically given that FC Goa’s entire squad underwent a massive overhaul in the summer.
“We want to win all the time. In the end, it is a new team and a new chapter. It is important to go game-by-game and control the emotions. This season sometimes you narrowly lose three points. But it does not matter how you lose them. It is important to improve tactically. This season is being played at a very hard level. All the teams are working hard,” he observed.
FC Goa have picked up 10 points this season after trailing by a goal. Ferrando was asked about how he was motivating the team to develop this fighting attitude on the field.
“We play as a team. We fight until the last minute. Each player has to fight. They know that they will not be in the squad if they don't do that. You will win some or lose some, but fighting is the most important thing,” he pointed.
Ishan Pandita has two goals and both his strikes have helped Goa pick crucial points. Ferrando however, believes that the player still needs to develop, and he has to improve on other aspects of his game as well.
“Ishan is one of the young players. I have to protect them. We want to work with them. They need to improve a lot. Football is not only about scoring goals. There are a lot of points. He is improving. He is playing for 10 minutes and it is helping him,” he explained.
Jorge Ortiz has been operating as a number nine in the absence of Angulo and has done reasonably well. Ferrando backed the 28-year-old attacker to continue his rich vein of form.
“Ortiz understands my philosophy. He knows when to attack the free space and making those runs to help the wingers. He helps us a lot. But he can improve more,” said Ferrando.