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ISL 2016: A lot of Indian players struggling in the ISL, says FC Goa coach Zico

543   //    20 Oct 2016, 17:32 IST
Zico calls for improvement in FC Goa’s collective defending (Images courtesy of ISL)

As FC Goa coach Zico took his seat to address the media before their match against Mumbai City FC, the Brazilian exuded poise and seemed calm ahead of the game. His side have managed to notch up only a single point from their four games so far in the ISL.

“I think something happened during the formation of our team. Because of all the deadlines and we have one player less. Some things happened with the registration of players,” the coach said.

“I think our team is playing well. Even though we lost three games, we can see very clearly that in two games we could have had a totally different result. We lost two matches because of our mistakes than the merits of the other team,” he added.

Also Read: Indian football needs more academies, better playing environment

Zico, who went on a tirade against the match officials in his last press conference, said that their opponents have also suffered due to some poor refereeing decisions.

“I think Mumbai played a very nice game against Delhi. I don’t think they lost because of poor defending. Out of the two goals they conceded, one was offside and, in my opinion, the penalty was not a penalty. They were harmed by the mistakes of the referee,” he explained.

Entire team isn’t defending well

FC Goa have conceded 7 goals in their 4 matches so far – the most among the eight teams. Coach Zico said that the entire team is responsible for their shoddy defending and not just the back four.

“I don’t separate between defence, midfield or attack. Our entire team is not defending well. Most of the goals we conceded were because of our mistakes. We need to improve in general as a team and defend better,” he said.

The training facilities for FC Goa have seen a change from what they were in the initial matches and Zico believes this will help them improve their game

“I really hope this will benefit us from now. Because it is always good to train with good facilities. The players are not scared of injuries then. In the first two seasons, we didn’t lose any player due to injuries in training because of ground conditions,” the FC Goa coach stated.

Zico recommends 7 Indians + 4 foreigners rule for the ISL

Zico believes that the Indian Super league must follow the standards observed in the rest of Asia where the system of playing 7 domestic players and 4 international players is maintained.

“I think you have to follow what is working. In Asia, in all the strong leagues, they play 7 nationals, 3 foreigners and 1 from Asia. So I think we must follow the same thing for development of Indian football,” he said.

Also Read: ISL 2016: Forlan will play tomorrow, says Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes

“You can see in the Indian Super League, a lot of Indian players - midfielders, forwards and defenders struggle a lot. This is because there are only few opportunities for them to play. Nowadays the Indian goalkeepers are playing more but still more key positons need to be occupied by Indian players”, he added.

Zico coy about Lucio’s availability

There are doubts about whether FC Goa’s defensive rock, Lucio, will play the game against Mumbai City FC tomorrow. Zico said he doesn’t like talking about a player’s availability before the match.

“I never reveal the line up before the game. We have a few training sessions left. After that we will check all the players and who is able to play,” he concluded. 

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