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Goa v Kerala Blasters

ISL 2018-19: Sergio Lobera pleased with the evolution of FC Goa's defence

11:35 GMT 17/02/2019
NorthEast United vs FC Goa ISL 2018/19
The FC Goa boss lauded his players for a good show post the international break ...

FC Goa are one win away from becoming the second team to seal a spot in the play-offs. Head coach Sergio Lobera will be looking to get the job done on Monday as Goa take on Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League (ISL).

The Spaniard was vocal about his opinion on Kerala counterpart Nelo Vingada and how he has made the Blasters a more dangerous side.

“We are going to face a very good squad, a team with good players that is looking different with the new coach. I’m sure that if we are not at our 100 per cent tomorrow and are not doing the things right, we won’t be able to take the three points. Also, if we win tomorrow, we will confirm our spot in the play-offs and then try to get on top of the table," Lobera stated.

“As I said before, we have to try and focus on every single game. This time we have to focus on the Kerala game and get the three point,” he added.

Goa’s defence was shaky at the beginning of the season and is now among the best in the league. The fact that they are yet to concede a goal after the break best exemplifies this. Obviously, Lobera is delighted with how his team is performing.

“I’m happy with how things are going. Before this season, we had some problems in defence and I think we are improving now. Also, I think that it’s important to be regular in terms of the performances. I think we have achieved it. Teams go through different phases, but it’s a good thing that we have maintained a good balance throughout the season. I’m feeling positive because of the way we are achieving things," he explained.

“I think it’s true that we now have stability but I don’t think it’s only because we are playing Carlos Pena and Mourtada Fall at the back. I think last game was a good example of good defending but our defence started upfront with the forwards and not at the back. We were recovering the possession of the ball upfront. Therefore, I think the team is solid defensively even without Pena or Fall.

"I think the key is to improve defensively and create chances at the same time. That’s exactly what we did in the last game.”

Complacency is bound to kick in when a team is flourishing, but Lobera is confident that his team will not be consumed by it. Rather, the Spaniard will focus on the journey instead of the final destination.

“I think we have to focus on how to achieve things rather than what we are going to achieve. If we think only about whether we will top the league table or where we will end up, we will be forgetting how we will achieve it. I think you should not add any pressure to the players. We need to get them motivated by excitement. The most important thing is to focus on how we are going to win the remaining games. At the end of the season we can look back and see what we have achieved,” he concluded.