Robert Pires back after two matches ban, FC Goa looks confident against Kerla Blaster

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Robert Pires is back after two matches ban, he will start in today’s away game for FC Goa against Kerla Blaster, following are the pre-match press conference addressed by Coach Zico and player Tolgay Ozbey

How important is the return of Robert Pires?

Zico: His return is very important because he is a great player, a great professional and I thought it was a bit unfair that he was banned for two games so it’s very important that we have him back.

What are your comments on the Kerala Blasters team? any thought on tomorrow’s game?

Zico: It is a team that is in the same situation as us. They have four points like us and I know it was very difficult for them to play all these games away. They are playing at home now and we need to be very cautious of this team.

FC Goa has conceded a lot of goals in the matches played but you have gone with the same back four for the last four matches. What is the thinking behind this? Are you still confided with the defense?

I think our problem is not our defense. We are losing so many opportunities in our forward line. We have created many opportunities in all the games we have played. Our defense has played very well and are doing their best. I trust my defense a lot.

Tolgay, how imp was the last win? Is this ground in Kochi lucky for you?

Tolgay: The win last week was very imp for our team. I believe in every match we have been dominating the game and controlling matches but have been unlucky in scoring goals. Our win in the last match kick started our ISL season. As for this ground, I have played once or twice before and have scored. It’s been a lucky ground for me. Hope it will be lucky for our team tomorrow.

There is no touchline standardisation from ground to ground. The technical area is 15 meters from the touchline here in Kochi as compared to other grounds. What are your views?

Zico: I respect the rules of the game. If it is this way what can I do? I can do only what is possible in the situation. In general it is a pity as we the coaches are used to being closer to the player so we can give directions to the players, but it is ok. We will do the best we can within what’s possible.

Santos has been starting in FC Goa’s games quiet regularly in the same position. Is that the best suitable position for Santos?

Zico: It was my first choice because we didn’t have so many players playing in this position. The only player we had was injured. If you look at games played by Andre Santos you will find he also plays as a forward/striker. Maybe a little more to the left but always forward.

This particular ground has a cricket pitch on it which has been covered with grass. Have you had a look at it? What do you think about it.

Zico: I haven’t see it yet so I will go have a look now. I hope it will be suitable for practice. Most of the grounds we have played at have been good and from what i have seen on television too they all look good. My only regret is that the most famous city for football, Kolkata, has an artificial turf. Even if it is allowed by FIFA, it is not a proper ground to play football. And it is not good for all the teams because they do not have the opportunity to practice on this ground. Only Kolkata is playing there. And everyone knows it is very difficult to play on an artificial turf compared to a real grass turf. This is an advantage for the Kolkata team because they are the only ones to practice there and play their home games there. No one else has the same opportunity. And I regret that ISL has not seen this before.

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