Odisha FC head coach Sergio Lobera underlined his ambitions at Odisha FC as his team faces Jamshedpur FC in Matchweek 8 of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Friday.

The Kalinga Warriors will aim to maintain their momentum following a convincing victory over league rivals Mohun Bagan Super Giant in their AFC Cup group stage encounter. Odisha FC are determined to prevent tenth-placed Jamshedpur FC from securing any points in this fixture and is keen on securing their fourth win of the season.

However, the Spanish tactician acknowledged the potential of their upcoming opponent and believes they deserve a higher position on the points table.

“I think Jamshedpur FC have a very good team. They deserve more points than they have now on the table. One example is the last game. I think they played very well against FC Goa. They deserve a little bit more from this game in my opinion," Lobera stated in the pre-match press conference. 

"I am sure (it) will be a difficult game because we are going to play against a very good team of hard workers. They are doing a very good job and, in this stadium, it is always difficult to play against them. And in my opinion, they deserve more points at the table, (than) the points they have now, in this moment,” he added.

The Odisha FC players are in fantastic form, pulling off some remarkable comebacks in both the AFC Cup and the ISL. Lobera feels fortunate to have such talented professionals in the squad.

He stated, "This is an amazing problem when you need to decide between players. For example, Diego or Roy. (Both are) amazing players. I want to have this problem in all clubs I work because, in the end, we need to manage what the situation is, as a coach because it's important.”

He added, “I'm lucky because I have very good players and also I have very good professionals and persons. It's good to work with people like this as a coach.”

The 46-year-old is determined to succeed with the Kalinga Warriors after experiencing success with FC Goa and Mumbai City FC. He prefers not to dwell on the past or think about the future, as he wants to keep his focus on the present.

“My ambition is to achieve success in Odisha. This is my ambition because football is present. Football is not about the past. You can win everything but if you lose games, nobody remembers this. And football is not about the future because as coaches we cannot think where we are going to be in one month. We need to put the focus in the present and the present is my club. The present is Odisha FC,” he said.


Winger Jerry Mawihmingthanga accompanied Lobera at the press conference. The Mizo player will be returning to face his former team, as he spent two years with Jamshedpur FC at the Furnace before joining Odisha FC in 2019.

Expressing his excitement about returning to his old stomping ground, he shared, “I think it's good to be back here, where I have been playing here for two years, and it's going to be exciting to play against in the furnace. And they are a good side and it's really exciting not for only me, but for all of the team. So we will give our best.”

Before concluding the press conference, Lobera heaped praise on Mawihmingthanga and believes that he deserves a place in the Indian national team.

“In my opinion, as a coach, he's not far. He needs to be in the national team. It's my opinion as a coach, I try to be objective. He is an amazing player. He is playing very well and obviously, it's not easy to be the coach of the national team. I have a lot of respect for Igor, but I think we have players with enough level to play in the national team. Have each one of them without any doubt," Lobera opined.