Lobera focussed on ATK match amid intensifying play-off race

FC Goa will play host to two-time Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) champions ATK in a crunch tie at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday. A win in the fixture will help the Gaurs consolidate their spot in the top four and inch closer to sealing a semi-final berth.

Speaking at his pre-match briefing, Goa head coach Sergio Lobera refused to get ahead of himself and start thinking about the prospect of the play-offs. He said, "Right now, I only have one target in mind which is winning tomorrow."

Asked if he would settle for one point instead of three, the Spaniard said, "No, I want to think about the positives. I always look forward to winning the three points. Depending on the game and thinking on what happened on the pitch, you can take one point as a positive point. But before the game, you cannot say that a draw would be sufficient."

The Gaurs have uncharacteristically been at their resilient best in the last few matches, earning three clean sheets in a row. When asked if he had chosen to sacrifice some of his team’s attacking impetus for defensive solidity, Lobera said, "At the end in football, everything that matters is to try and find the balance between attack and defence. Maybe I would have been happier to take six points instead of five."

Lobera also shared his assessment of the ATK squad and even name-dropped their new signing Edu Garcia as a potential threat. "I think we are facing a great team. And we have to beat the team, not the individual players. I think Edu Garcia is in great form," he said.

The 42-year-old also gave a quick update on his squad and revealed, "We still have one training one session remaining. So far, all the team has been training together. So, as of now, everyone is fit."

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