Kozhikode, September 25: Gokulam Kerala FC will travel to Mumbai and Bellary for pre-seasonal friendly matches with Indian Super League clubs Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC. Gokulam play Mumbai City on Friday while the match against Bengaluru FC is on October 2.
Head coach Fernando Santiago Varela opens up to GKFC media team before leaving for the pre-season friendly matches. Read the excerpts from the interview.
After Durand Cup win, the fans have lot of expectation with the team. What do you have to tell to fans?
They can believe more in our team. With their help only we will be able to achieve more. We also expect them to come to watch us and support us strongly. We will try to show good football. The fans can be always proud of us. I am trying to implement attacking football here and I believe the fans can expect the same intensity in I-League also.
There would be a couple of more foreigners joining the squad. What are your expectations?
They have lot of experience, they are good intensity players. They could help us to become stronger. Their quality is good and we have to see how they adapt to our style. We expect the best for them. We will help them within our capacity to make them comfortable here and help us land the I-League title.
Are you satisfied with the team and where do you think we should strengthen up?
I know that we have to improve more. Even if you win, you need to adapt to circumstances. We have to face different matches. We cannot play in the same style. Always we are in an evolution to bring better results. We cannot improve if we get satisfied with a win. In every win and lose there is something to learn.
How difficult the coming season would be?
The other players and clubs know more about us now and they can understand how we play and our style. We need to prepare to play with all the teams. We need to focus. The intensity will be more, like we played against East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the Durand Cup. We have to adapt according to it and this is our aim.
How seriously you have to take the results of pre-season matches?
Pre-sesason matches are very important. We will try to understand what we will be able to do on the field. The focus should be on to find where all should we correct ourselves. If we win, we need to maintain the same mentality. This is also an opportunity for the players who have not got enough playing time in Durand Cup. For me these pre-season matches are important but not the most significant.
You will face few ISL sides ahead of I-League. What are your thoughts on those matches?
This is good for us. If we want to win I League we should prepare for these kinds of matches. It is important to play against them. We can know how we can improve. Other than Mumbai FC and Bengaluru FC we will be playing against more ISL sides and we need to be prepared. These quality matches will give enough preparation time for the I-League.