‘Whenever I deserve’ – FC Goa’s Ishan Pandita emphasises hunger for more game time

‘Whenever I deserve’ – FC Goa’s Ishan Pandita emphasises hunger for more game time

Eager for his first start in the ISL, Pandita admitted to Goal that his chances depend on the coach’s satisfaction in his performance…

FC Goa forward Ishan Pandita hopes to play a staring role in the semi-finals against Mumbai City and hopes to lift the Indian Super League (ISL) in his very first season in India. 

Nearly every time Goa coach Juan Ferrando has been asked by journalists so as to why he doesn’t reward the youngster with more game time for the four goals he has scored with the best conversion rate in the league. The Spanish coach has always insisted that Ishan needs to learn more about the ‘small details’.

“If I decide to use Ishan as a substitute it’s because it’s our plan. Small details are very important and it’s important that he’s learning. It’s not only about goals. It’s necessary to learn about the press and timings, [what we do] when we don’t have possession,” the coach had explained earlier in the season.

How does Ishan respond to the claim?

“The only way I can touch upon this point is that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do in training. I’m definitely giving my all and fit into the system that he (Ferrando) wants to play. Hopefully, he sees that I’m improving and doing enough to get a position in the starting 11,” Pandita explained in a chat with Goal.

Pandita, who plied his trade at Spanish fourth division, believes that the standard of the Indian Super League has gone up by several notches over the years.

Having returned to India after moving to Spain in 2014, he said, “Football is the best in Europe. Everyone knows that, and I’ve been lucky enough to play at some good levels in Spain with very good players. All I can say is, ISL is improving a lot. It’s grown heavily from the first season to what it is now. The ISL is attracting good, talented players from good leagues from all over the world, and I see a lot of scope for improvement and growth in the country.”

Trade clubs for a place in the first 11?

Given his performance with regard to the goals he has delivered this season, under pressure situations in the dying minutes, will a promise for a first 11 spot tempt Ishan to move to another club?

“On contract, I’m an FC Goa player but like any other player who wants to play, I’m at the beginning of my career. I’m very hungry to perform and show myself. I’ve not played anything at all here. All I can think about at this moment is trying to help my team and hopefully, we can go past Mumbai and win the ISL.

“I want to be on the field 24×7. I want to play the 90 of the 90 (minutes). But I’m not the coach. I’m just another player in the team and whenever the coach feels, I’m ready to be on the field. Whenever I deserve, I’ll be ready. I’m always hungry and if the team and the coach need me, I’m ready to put in my best,” Pandita maintained.

Ask Ishan where he envisions himself five years from now, the words he would return would be, “Probably playing in a top division in Europe would be nice.”

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