Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera wants his team to be aware of the challenge on their hands as his side prepare to face Hyderabad FC in Matchweek 10 of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

Odisha FC currently sit in fifth position in the league table with 14 points from eight games. They have won four matches, drawn twice and lost two games so far this season.

Hyderabad FC sit in 12th position in the league table with four points from nine games. They have lost five games, drawn four matches and are still searching for their first win of the season.

The visitors have got just two points from their last four games. But, Lobera believes that they can still cause a lot of problems for Odisha FC.

“Hyderabad FC have enough potential to cause problems for us. We need to be strong on the ball and off the ball in this game,” Lobera stated in the pre-match press conference.

“Despite their results, we need to focus well against them because they have dangerous players. They have enough potential to be higher in the table,” he further said.

“We need to be careful because if we lack concentration in these types of games, our opposition can hurt us,” he added.

Diego Mauricio received a red card in Odisha FC's previous ISL game against Mohun Bagan Super Giant. The Brazilian forward has scored three goals in the six games he has played in for Odisha FC this season and will be a miss for his side on Sunday.

Lobera believes that despite Mauricio's absence, his team has to maintain the same level of intensity against Hyderabad FC.

“We have to play our best game despite missing certain players,” Lobera said.

“We have a very good squad and hopefully whoever comes in will perform positively for us,” he added.

Odisha FC have become one of the highest-scoring teams in the league with 14 goals so far this season. However, they have conceded 11 goals which has been a cause of concern for Lobera.

Despite positive results, Lobera accepts that his side needs to improve more in the defensive third of the pitch.

“We need to improve more,” he said.

“We need to try to find more balance in the team, especially in the defensive third of the pitch because it is possible to win or lose by very small margins in this league,” he added.

Odisha FC defender Narender Gahlot joined Sergio Lobera in the pre-match press conference. He has started in majority of the games for Odisha FC this season and is looking forward to the contest against Hyderabad FC.

“I think Hyderabad FC are a good side. They have good individual players,” he said.

Odisha FC endured a tough start to the season in which they won just four points from their first four games. However, they turned their fortunes around since then and have managed to remain unbeaten in their last four matches.

“We did not start well in the ISL but after that, we showed character and started winning games,” Gahlot said.

“I think from that point on I improved a lot,” he further said.

“The head coach also motivates me and our fellow players to improve more. He urges us to keep playing until we cut our mistakes,” he added.