The Forward Press: Important First Goals and Ingham Info Emerges

The Forward Press: Important First Goals and Ingham Info Emerges

Moving swiftly from BC club to BC club means Atlético Ottawa travel to Pacific FC off the back of a 1-1 draw with Vancouver FC last weekend. The last time we caught a glimpse of Pacific, it was a weary affair with both sides having come off a congested few weeks of fixtures, but there are less excuses now that both sides' schedules have eased up. Gonzalez was joined in his pre-match meeting with the media by intrepid midfielder Aboubacar Sissoko, with the duo covering topics like Ingham, Friday night's game plan, and the importance of scoring the first goal. Without further adieu, here are all the details from Carlos and Abou’s pre-match presser:

Photo © CPL Photos

The Quotes: Carlos Gonzalez

On the recovery from a busy start to the schedule: “Well, the reality is that now this game is going to be in the game with a longer period of preparation in the last maybe 20 days. So it's going to be a game in which all of us have had time to rest, to recover from effort of the last games…At the end of the day, what we try to do is always put the best 11 for each game.”

On the undisclosed injury to Nate Ingham: “The situation is similar to last week. We've been here for now four days in BC. So Nate is still in Ottawa with some treatment, with training, individual training. It's not something that is very big, but we thought that the best thing to do is that he has this type of treatment in the city. So we hope that Nate will be back very soon with the team once we arrive to Ottawa and he can help the team also.”

On scoring the first league goal against Pacific: “They are doing a good job defensively, but I don't think that they are unbreakable…We're focusing on the different ways that we can punish them. And I think that we have tools to do it in different ways. So hopefully, we step well into the field on Friday and we find the spaces, and at the end of the day, have the energy because the talent already is in the squad. So I think that we're going to create chances and hopefully we can break that strike off of the clean sheets.”

The Quotes: Aboubacar Sissoko

On a formidable Pacific squad: “We have a pretty good game plan with the coaches, so we're just going to study them and then try to bring the best performance tomorrow to have the three points. But honestly, I'm not afraid about their players. We have big players here, so in this league, I'm not afraid. So we're just going to go there and give the best performance to have the three points.”

On whether Pacific provides a mental battle: “We prepare all the games as a final. So honestly, it's going to be another game for us. So we prepare well. We're going to prepare today, [and] again for tomorrow. So honestly, mentally, we're fresh, and then we recover a lot from the past games. So now we're just going to focus for tomorrow and then try to beat them and grab the three points and go back home.”

Photo © CPL Photos

Speaking in French, Abou Sissoko added a few more comments which will be paraphrased here. It was clear, as CarGo also touched on, that scoring the first goal against this Pacific side would be a massive mental victory for the side. “If we manage to score, that is a goal that will settle in their heads,” the midfielder predicted. He said scoring one goal would not only be massive in isolation, but would open up Pacific and provide an opportunity for more. Sissoko spoke on some wasted chances in previous matches which the squad will want to be taking as they aim to hit full stride for the season. He said although he didn’t want to provide excuses, there was a lot of fatigue within the squad which has since begun to abate. 

Sissoko highlighted how effectively the team has been defending and how much energy that has been taking up. In a match against Pacific in which scoring the first goal would be so effective for either side, one would hope that Atlético Ottawa can redistribute a little more energy offensively, especially given the lack of Reon Moore. To grab even a goal against the stifling Langford side would be a massive weight off ATO shoulders going into the Canadian Championship in a few weeks. A reminder that in the next three matches, Atlético Ottawa will play the current league top three, with two matches against Pacific bookending a tangle at home with Forge FC. It will be important mentally to start that stretch with an emphatic result.

To see that emphatic result happen, come on down to the Glebe Central Pub tonight at 10pm to join the CCSG in our second Watch Party of the year. We hope to see you there!

About Ben

Ben Ralph is a die-hard football fan and a journalism student at Carleton. He has been supporting Everton through the ups and downs (but mostly the downs) and could not believe his luck when he stumbled across Atlético Ottawa in 2021. Now part of the Atleti faithful, his dream has always been to write football stories, and he is excited to join other fans as writers for CCSG. His football journalist idols are Adam Hurrey, James Richardson, and Charlie Eccleshare from The Football Cliches Podcast.

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