Then-head coach Juan Ferrando jumped ship mid-season to join ATK Mohun Bagan and a downward spiral started for the Gaurs, who ended the league phase with just four wins.
In an interview with the Times of India, FC Goa's Director of Football (DoF), Ravi Puskur, stressed that there's definitely pressure to deliver for the club after a disappointing season. He said:
"After last season, anyone not feeling the pressure is in the wrong place. As a club, we are not here for the sake of existence. We are trying to achieve something on the field.
"Of course, there is pressure, but what’s important is for us to know how to handle it. Carlos [Pena] and I are comfortable with the processes and the work that we have done with the team."
With rejuvenated hopes and a revamped squad, Goa are raring to right the wrongs of the past in the upcoming season. At the helm of the squad, though, is new head coach Carlos Pena, who has previously played for the club. However, the former defender has very little managerial experience under his belt.
Questions have been asked about the Spaniard's selection. Ravi said in this regard:
"I can understand why questions are being asked. Carlos’s appointment made a lot of sense because he comes with fresh ideas, has recent playing experience, understands the league, and more importantly, understands the club. Is it a risk? Yes, but we have to back our guts."
"Spanish players tend to adapt to us easier" - FC Goa DoF
For years now, FC Goa's roots have intermingled with the Spanish footballing lineage. Even this season, five of the six foreigners are Spaniards and so is the head coach.
While the rest of the ISL teams have started to look into other foreign markets for players, why are FC Goa still sticking to their affinity for Spanish players? Ravi replied:
"The coaches we have signed look at players who they have worked with (in the past) due to familiarity. We do believe that they can bring certain skills on and off the field that will help us as a football club. From my own experience, having seen multiple nationalities, Spanish players tend to adapt to us easier, particularly with the lifestyle.
"On the field too, they bring certain qualities. I have seen tactical refinement in Spanish players a lot better as compared to other nations. Spain is also a market that we know inside out, so we tried to take advantage of something that is tried and tested."
It remains to be seen whether the Spanish Armada can lead FC Goa to their maiden ISL glory in the upcoming season.