Odisha FC's head coach Sergio Lobera is confident in his team's ability to defend the title as they gear up to face East Bengal FC in the Kalinga Super Cup final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

Having secured a spot in the final by defeating Mumbai City FC in the semi-final, Odisha FC has become the first team to reach consecutive finals of the Kalinga Super Cup. The team is determined to clinch the title on their home turf in Bhubaneswar. Under Lobera's leadership, the Kalinga Warriors have showcased an impressive record, remaining unbeaten in their last 15 matches and winning all four matches in the ongoing Kalinga Super Cup.

Acknowledging the challenge posed by East Bengal FC, who are also in excellent form and undefeated in the ongoing tournament, Lobera expects a tough encounter. He praised his players for their recent performances but emphasized the need to leave no stone unturned in their quest to defend the title.

“I am very proud of my players because they showed everyone they could play good football and also showcased their strong mentality and good character to play big games,” Lobera said in the pre-match press conference.

“I am confident because I trust in my players and I believe in them 200%. They are ready to play big games, and tomorrow (Sunday) is one big game. It's a final, it's at home, and it's against a very good team, East Bengal FC. With very good professional players, we are going to play against a very good team, not only against one, two, or three very good players,” he continued.

Odisha FC emerged victorious in the previous season's Super Cup under the guidance of interim head coach Clifford Miranda, marking the club's first significant achievement since its inception.

Lobera, the current head coach, views this success as a responsibility to retain the title in their hometown. He emphasized the importance of the players enjoying the high-voltage final and assured that his squad is well-prepared for the crucial fixture.

Expressing his excitement, Lobera stated, “The preparation is done with a lot of excitement. We know we have the responsibility to keep the trophy here. But the most important thing is that we should enjoy this final. It’s a big game for everyone — for players, for coaches, for staff, and for supporters.”

Having previously guided FC Goa to their first Super Cup title in 2019, Lobera sees an opportunity for both himself and Odisha FC to add another title to their collection.

However, stiff competition awaits from East Bengal FC, a team that has demonstrated effectiveness at both ends of the pitch. East Bengal FC captain Cleiton Silva has been a standout performer, contributing significantly to the team's attack with four goals in the competition.

When questioned about countering Silva's threat, Lobera emphasized a team-focused approach, saying, “I don’t think one or two players can win a trophy for you. We win games and win trophies as a team. There are no special plans regarding one, two, or three players of the opponent team. The plan is about the full squad—the full team we are going to play against. And the most important thing for me is to put the focus on ourselves. We need to believe in our style of play and in our ideas.”

Spanish defender Carlos Delgado, a crucial member of Odisha FC’s Super Cup-winning squad in 2023, joined Lobera at the press conference. Delgado spoke about their preparations for the final game, stating, “We are defending the title. It will also be a difficult game for us, but we are ready for it. And we are working well, in a good way.”