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ISL 2017-18: FC Goa's Sergio Lobera: Pressure doesn't exist for us

12:29 PM GMT 03/02/2018
Jamshedpur FC Goa
The Highlanders will be looking to emulate Mumbai City FC and do the double over FC Goa but that doesn't worry the Spaniard...

FC Goa will know that only a win over NorthEast United on Sunday can take them back into the top four in the Indian Super League (ISL) standings.

After Jamshedpur FC (22) and Kerala Blasters (20) recorded wins over Mumbai City FC and FC Pune City respectively, the Goan side have moved down to occupy the sixth spot with 19 points in their kitty.

However, the Gaurs'  head coach Sergio Lobera prefers to have games in hand as compared to the teams around them as Goa and NorthEast are the only two sides to have played just 11 games so far.

"At this point of time, if I can choose between fourth, fifth and sixth, having played all the games, or be in a position with games in hand, then I would prefer to be in a position where we still have games in hand where we still have an opportunity to climb the ladder. I think the other coaches will choose that option too," he opined. 

"I don't think it tells the picture whether it's the real table because it's not a true reflection as of now. As of now, it's one team with three games, another with two games less, another with a game lesser than the rest. Therefore, I wouldn't look at the table at this point in time. If I had to look at the table, even though I wouldn't want to, then I say that it's fine."

The Spanish gaffer also maintains that it's the others who remain under pressure while his side enjoys the excitement that surrounds them.

"Pressure doesn't exist for us at the moment," he said. "The only thing that exists is the excitement to try and improve on the difficult season that we (FC Goa) had last year, an illusion to be in the top four without having the budget to be there. So the pressure is for the others. Thanks to how it is, it only depends on us if we are in the top four or not."

With Bruno Pinheiro not a 100 percent fit and Seriton Fernandes suspended for the tie on account of his sending off in the 4-3 loss against Mumbai City FC in the last weekend, Lobera went on to insist that the club's philosophy will remain the same.

"We will change some things for sure because I have a player (Seriton) who cannot play this game because of a red card he received in the last one. For whatever changes there are, our style of play will be what we think makes us strongest," he stressed.

When asked about the lack of clean sheets and the number of goals being let in by his defence, the former Barcelona assistant replied, "In terms of the goals being conceded, it could be that Goa concedes goals or that Goa scores a lot. Goa having two players (Ferran Corominas and Manuel Lanzarote) within the top three among the top goal scorers is also news. The only sole objective is the goal difference and we are the third-best team in the league."

"I think in this league, every game is different. Anything can happen. With regards to us having lost there (2-1 in Guwahati), them having scored more goals, or us having lost the previous game doesn't condition anything that's going to happen tomorrow (Sunday). Thinking about the past is an error and we should only be focusing on the present," he concluded.