All teams are in the same situation as far as financial constraints go due to the coronavirus situation and so, it simply cannot be used as an excuse for a bad season, said FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando. Ferrando took over as coach of the team this season after Sergio Lobera was dramatically sacked last year right after leading the team to the top of the table.

Ferrando’s first season in charge of the side is unique in multiple ways. Apart from the uncertainty that has creeped into football due to the pandemic, Ferrando will also be the first manager to lead an Indian team in the group stage of the AFC Champions League whenever the season gets underway.

“It’s a new situation for all the clubs, not just Goa,” Ferrando said in a video conference with reporters on Monday. “It is in my opinion important to accept it and try to find the best players in this situation. We are checking out a lot of players. It is not an excuse if we have a bad season after this because everyone is in the same situation.

“It’s possible to confirm the squad by September instead of July or August.”

Ferrando said that for now, the staff is working together to send players daily training routines but, there are a number of limitations that they have to work around.

“Some players don’t have the place to run outside their home. Some others do not have the required equipment in their house. We are working on whatever we have and I hope in one month we are together and we can go about our normal routine,” he said.

Ferrando emphasised on how important a good performance in the Champions League will be for the younger Indian players.

“It’s a great opportunity for Indian players. Back in 1996, when Louis Van Gaal was coming to Barcelona, he brought with him, eight Dutch players. And then what happened was that the players of the academy started working harder to fight for a place, the players worked side by side to bring the best out of each other.

“This is a similar situation. Ravi (Puskur, FC Goa’s sporting director) and I often discuss how important it is to have 3-4 senior foreigners in the squad who would help the young Indians both on and off the pitch. I think we will be ready,” he said.