ISL 2017: FC Goa’s Sergio Lobera rates FC Pune City as one of the finest teams

The head coach of Goa mentioned that Ferran Corominas and Ahmed Jahouh are fit to start against FC Pune City…

FC Goa have scored 18 goals in their five matches in season four of the Indian Super League (ISL). Coach Sergio Lobera stated that  while attack is the USP of his team, he also wants them to not leak in many goals as they have conceded in every match this season.

“Tomorrow (Saturday) is a game that is very different from the rest. Every game is different. So tomorrow we will be playing against a team where we don't know the circumstances yet. We scored so many goals is because we are an offensive team. Offense is our strength so we will try and stick to that as long as possible.

“We have to play the football that makes us strong. With the kind of players that we have and the profiles that they represent, we need to play attacking football that allows us to capitalize on their strengths as well and make them stronger and better as well.

“It is important to get that defensive balance right. Obviously, we are working hard towards it. Keeping that in mind, we have to ensure that we keep doing what we're doing and keep improving as much as possible,” said Lobera.

He also confirmed that Ferran Corominas and Ahmed Jahouh, who picked up knocks in the last game, are very much fit to start against FC Pune City on Saturday. The 40-year-old also pointed that it is vital not to get too carried away with their fantastic start to the season.

“We are more than mindful of the fact that small details also make a difference in this league. In the last match we played against Delhi (Dynamos), I don't think the result reflected exactly the way it was played on the pitch. It was a game where both teams were well matched but we ultimately opened up and scored a few goals.

“Tomorrow (Saturday) we will be playing against an opponent who I consider as one of the finest in the league. It's going to be a hard game for us but something that we look forward to,” said the Spaniard.

Lobera was asked to share his opinion on the Indian contingent at his disposal. He went to praise the Goan players in his squad.

“The team has to work as a collective unit to function well. We have only three Spaniards (Edu Bedia, Manuel Lanzarote and Coro) playing in the first 11. There is a Moroccan (Ahmed Jahouh) and a Portuguese (Bruno Pinheiro) player who is playing every game as well, and there are six Indians who are playing at all times. 

“I've said this before as well. I think the Goan players are at a very good level. I've been very pleased with the performance they have put in so far and that's what it is going to be about - putting in the collective effort,” he replied.

Coro Delhi Dynamos FC FC Goa ISL Season 4 2017/2018

FC Goa are one of the few teams who haven’t rotated their squad and Lobera mentioned that there will be a time when he will look to give players on the bench an opportunity to showcase their talent.

“It's true that we are playing the same team but when the team is doing well, it is important to maintain that consistency of playing more matches (with the same 11). We haven't yet seen all the players from the bench. I have told them that to win the league you don't need 11 players but a full squad. So all the players have to be capable of stepping up when they are required. 

“For example, in the game against Delhi, there were people who came off the bench and made an instant impact. That's what we are looking for,” he answered.

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Lobera also reserved special praise for Jonathan Cardozo who was plying his trade with the club's 'B' team.

“Jonathan is one of the players who went on the pre-season with us. We knew that at some point in time we would need to have a look at the ‘B’ team players to move to the first team and he was one of them. We knew exactly what his qualities are. That's why we had called him up with that motive.

“For me, Jonathan is one of those players who is ready to play immediately. If I feel that he is someone we need in the next match, I'll put him in,” he concluded.