Sergio Lobera: Odisha’s style is very similar to ours
FC Goa will be looking to become the first team to beat Odisha FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar when they face them in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 on Wednesday. For the Gaurs, who are chasing the top spot, it will be crucial that they pick up all three points from the match to keep the pressure on fellow summit spot contenders ATK FC and Bengaluru FC.
Speaking about the upcoming fixture at the pre-match press conference, Goa head coach Sergio Lobera stated, “Every match is very important. The remaining four matches will be like four finals for every team in this situation. For us, it’s a very important match. We want to finish at the top. Odisha are doing very well and are in the top four and they will want to play the semi-finals. We will see a very good match because Odisha play very good football and play in a way which is similar to ours. Everyone will enjoy the game and hope we get the three points.”
“The most important thing is that my players give 100%. It’s important to be loyal to our style. My focus is on my own team. We need to take it step by step. Getting three points on Wednesday is paramount for us. Then we will think about the semi-finals and topping the league,” he added.
Odisha will be missing their top scorer Aridane Santana, after the Spaniard was ruled out for the rest of the season with an injury. Asked if their opponents missing their ace striker would be advantageous for his team, Lobera opined, “He is a very good player. Injuries like these are not good for football. Injuries in this situation is bad for the team, the Hero ISL. As the opponent coach, I am not happy because its always good to face the best players out there on the pitch. Odisha have acted fast and signed Manuel Onwu from Bengaluru. He is a very good player. It will be a difficult match against Odisha and we will need to give our 100% to win this tie.”
Addressing his time with Goa so far, the Spaniard noted, “I am very happy and proud of my players. I am proud of the work we have been doing in the last two seasons and this one. We have good memories playing at the Kalinga Stadium as we won the Hero Super Cup here last season. This is a very difficult and competitive season. All teams want to win. We want to finish top and win the Hero ISL because the fans and everyone involved want that.”
Midfielder Lenny Rodrigues, who accompanied Lobera to the briefing, said, “Every game is different. Every one of them are difficult. The opposition also wants to win. We don’t have any special plans for Odisha in Wednesday’s match. The coach will decide how we go about it.”