Should there have been question marks over who would replace Manuel Lanzarote, who was instrumental for FC Goa in 2017-18 season, coach Sergio Lobera already had his answer in Edu Bedia at the start of the ongoing season.
Lanzarote, who moved to ATK for the 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL), had together with last season's Golden Boot winner Ferran Corominas scored 31 of of the team's 42 goals. However, Bedia perceived the situation differently.
"I don't think there was a special connection only between Lanza and Coro last season. It was a good connection among all the team mates. It's the same this season. Now we are coming to the best part of the season and we have to be ready," he told Goal.
"If you look at last season, it was a completely different style of playing football. The team was built from scratch. This season it has been much easier for the players to adapt to the same philosophy from last season, including the Indian players, as most of the players are the same."
As the Gaurs' prepare for the first leg of their semi-final clash against Mumbai City FC on Saturday, Corominas leads the goalscorers chart with 18 goals, with Bedia the next highest goalscorer for FC Goa with seven to his name.
Speaking of his role at the club this term, Bedia explained, "Last year I used to play as a proper midfielder and I had a different task to fulfil. This season, as an attacking midfielder, I have other duties but my work on the pitch remains the same."
Given that Lobera has constantly been adamant about sticking to his philosophy of outscoring the opponent, the former Zaragoza player is of the opinion that there is no need to change their approach going into the play-offs.
"I think our philosophy is what has taken us to the top equal on points (34) with Bengaluru FC. I don't think we should change this philosophy to approach the play-offs. It has also been the philosophy that has made FC Goa the most attractive team to watch in the ISL," he stated.
Although Mumbai haven't scored against Goa in the regular season, losing both ties 5-0 and 2-0, their main striker in Modou Sougou has also hit the peach of his form to make it an interesting encounter for both the teams' defenses.
"I think, not only in India but all over the world when any tournament comes to the knock-out stage, the first leg always tends to be played more defensively especially when you play the second leg at home," Bedia observed."But for us, everything has to be the same. We have to go out with the same mentality and the same kind of football because that is what makes us strong and that's what we have been doing throughout the season," he reiterated.