7 games, 16 points, and 21 goals. FC Goa have got off the blocks in the new season of the Indian Super League in Usain Bolt-esque fashion and sit currently at the top of the table with a three-point gap.
The Gaurs’ success can be attributed to a number of reasons.
Coro has again captured the eyes of all and sundry with his rampant start to the season that has seen him score eight in addition to shelling out four assists. Ahmed Jahouh and Edu Bedia have been their brilliant selves as well, serving up one impeccable performance after another in the middle of the park.
Sergio Lobera has, however, time and again credited Goa’s brand of play for being the real strength of the team and the reason for success of the club. The Gaurs, in the last two seasons, have been one of the few clubs who have been able to get the best out of both their Indian as well as their foreign contingent.
Whilst the foreigners have been at the heart of the blueprint, the Indian players have excelled and have truly become the backbone of the team’s success under the Spaniard.
A prime example of the same is the performance of Jackichand Singh and Manvir Singh – both of whom have been called up for the Indian national camp for the International Friendly against Jordan.
Jackichand has taken to life as a Gaur like a duck to water. The winger has already become an integral part of Lobera’s plans, having chipped in with two goals while laying on an assist for his teammates.
What is more impressive is the fact that the man from Manipur is looking closer to his devastating best on the wings for FC Goa. Whether it is on the right or left, the fleet-footed winger has added another dimension to Goa’s attack, providing the team with an ever-dependable outlet.
“Does he need an introduction from me? I don’t think so,” stated Jesus Tato, speaking on Jacki’s impact on the side. “He is one of the best wingers in Indian football in my opinion.”
“The important thing for us this season has been to make him believe that he is the best every single moment. He has so much talent and that was evident in our early running. As a coach hope to instill even more belief in him so that we can go the extra mile.”
Manvir looking in prime form
Manvir Singh, on the other hand, seems to have found a new gear this year and has been pivotal to the ISL side’s success of late. The lad from Punjab has come on as a substitute in most games so far and has been able to add a real fizz to the proceedings.
His contributions especially in the games against Mumbai and Delhi were eye-catching. The icing on the cake was, however, reserved for the game against Kerala Blasters in Kochi where he scored his first ever ISL goal.
With Coro starting up front for Goa, it hasn’t been easy for the Indian international to get a place in the starting XI. That, though, hasn’t deterred the forward from giving his 100% every time he steps on to the pitch.
“He has been really impressive. He is really non-stop. His effort is there for all to see, not only in the games, but also in training. He wants to improve and keeps on picking my brain. He has been putting in a real effort,” added Tato.
“He gives the team a real lift every time he comes on and his energy resonates through the side. In the last few games he has been really been important for us.”
India will take on Jordan in an international friendly in Amman on 17th November, 2018.