Lobera: Lucky to get three points against SC East Bengal
Mumbai City FC extended their unbeaten run in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 to 11 games after a 1-0 win over SC East Bengal at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Friday. Mourtada Fall scored the only goal of the game and the Islanders defended resolutely to hold on for the win. The Islanders though found it difficult to impose their brand of football on the game and Mumbai City’s head coach Sergio Lobera credited SC East Bengal for reining them in.
“Sometimes it’s not possible to play the way you want to play. The opponent team is also playing and forces you to play another way. During the second half we suffered a lot… we lost possession of the ball [a lot] and obviously we practically played in our own half. This is not the best way for us, we want to win more games to improve the situation,” Lobera said at the post-match press conference.
He went on to opine that the SC East Bengal side that they faced on Friday night was very different team from the one his side had faced earlier this season. “They have improved a lot and have new players. They are a very competitive team. Their results speak for themselves. They were unbeaten for seven games and they played very well and it’s not possible to compare this team with the one [we played against] in the first part of the season,” Lobera said.
The Spaniard also admitted that Mumbai City may have been a bit lucky to have got the win. “I think when you see the stats, you see that we lose in possession for the ball. It’s difficult for us when we play in such a way. We needed to improve, especially in the second half. We were lucky with the result in the second half because they played very well. We played against a team that was unbeaten in seven games and maybe in the first half we had the chances to score a second goal,” he said.
Watch Sergio Lobera's Post-Match Press conference here:
Meanwhile, SC East Bengal’s head coach Robbie Fowler was proud of the performance of his players despite the loss. “It was a performance that we can be rightly proud of. Okay we have not won the game, but we have shown everybody around the world how much possession we had in the game. I think we look so much more like a well-rounded team. Individuals are looking fitter and stronger. It’s a bit of a shame that it took us 45 minutes to get going because we probably gave Mumbai [City] the hardest 45 minutes they’ve had this season. Full credit to our lads, the scoreline probably didn’t do us justice but it’s a defeat, nonetheless,” he said.
That said, Fowler did admit that the result was frustrating. “It’s massively frustrating because it shows that we can compete against the big teams. We want to go out there and get the right results in every game. We’re ambitious so we’ll pick ourselves up and watch the game. I think that it was our first defeat in eight games, so it’s massively important that we start winning soon because we have got the players to get results. Hopefully that will come pretty quickly,” he said.
The Englishman still believes that his side can finish the league stage in the top four. “It gets harder with every week that passes. It becomes more difficult with every game that is out of the way but it’s important that we play our game and try and get the right results. We’ve seen how tight it is between the middle and bottom of the table. A few good results and performances will put us back in the mix, so it’s not over for us yet. It’s a real challenge and we look forward to it,” Fowler said.
Watch Robbie Fowler's Post-Match Press conference here: