Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera is optimistic about securing all three points against Hyderabad FC in their next Indian Super League (ISL) match at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad on Monday.

The Kalinga Warriors have emerged victorious in each of their last two outings against Hyderabad FC and are unbeaten in their last nine ISL games. Sergio Lobera’s men will be eyeing a win to continue their unbeaten streak against Hyderabad FC, who are yet to win a game this season.

Lobera acknowledged that his players will aim for all three points, as his mentality has always been winning games.

“My mentality is always to go to the pitch and to try to win the game,” he stated in the pre-match press conference.

“I don't want to put in the worst scenario before this situation happens. I am positive. My players give me the confidence I need as a coach. My mentality is that we are going to win the game. We are here for this,” he added.

Lobera does not want his side to dwell in the past and has his eyes fixed on their upcoming matches. Despite getting the better of Ivan Vukomanovic’s Kerala Blasters FC in the previous game, the Spaniard urged his side to keep working hard.

“To win against a very good team like Kerala Blasters FC and to be in a very good position on the table is nice for us,” he shared.

“We are doing a very good job during a long period of the season. The players are doing an amazing job, but this is the past and will not affect the future. Football is about the present, and that is tomorrow's game (on Monday). It's not about what we did; it's about what we need to do to win the game tomorrow (Monday),” he continued.

Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC find themselves in two contrasting ends in the ISL league table. Hyderabad FC are bottom of the table while Lobera's side are paced second. They have suffered a defeat in their last three league matches.  

Lobera opined that if his side show a casual approach against Hyderabad FC, they could miss the valuable three points. He shared a huge amount of respect for his opponent and lauded them despite going through a tough phase.

“If we think tomorrow's (Monday) game will be easy because Hyderabad FC are in a difficult situation, it will be a big mistake. I think if we do not give our 100%, we are not going to win the game,” he said.

“Hyderabad FC did an amazing job in the last few seasons, but they are doing an amazing job now because in difficult moments, the people who are there are working very hard and are trying to do their best. They have all my respect because, in a good moment, everyone is happy and everything is easy. But in a difficult moment, you have to show the people how you are trying to manage the situation as best as possible,” he signed off.

I need to be in the present and prepare for the match: Hitesh Sharma

 

Hitesh Sharma, who joined Odisha FC during the winter transfer window, accompanied his head coach ahead of their next game against his former team, Hyderabad FC. The 26-year-old midfielder wants to stay focused on his game and prepare well for the upcoming match.

“I just need to prepare. I need to be in the present moment and prepare for the match,” he said.

“I have to go into training with a mindset to improve. Other things are not in my hand; what is in my hand is to train well, and that's what my focus is on,” he concluded.