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Sergio Lobera, FC Goa manager, aims for ‘balance’ in Indian Super League 2017-18

Sergio Lobera, FC Goa’s new manager, wants his side to play attacking football in this season’s Indian Super League without giving up their defensive solidity

football Updated: Nov 14, 2017 19:25 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sergio Lobera,FC Goa,Indian Super League 2017-18
Sergio Lobera, who has been a youth coach at FC Barcelona in the past, wants FC Goa to strike a balance between defence and attack. (HT Photo)

From Samba to tiki-taka, FC Goa have gone through a huge change since the last season of the Indian Super League. The club decided to part ways with Brazilian legend Zico after three years.

His replacement, Sergio Lobera, has already made his intentions clear with his specialised pre-season training camps and the recruitment of Spanish talents who can fit into his style of football.

“There are techniques that have been working and there are others that need improvement. When a coach arrives, he doesn’t need to change everything. We have to take advantage of the techniques that are being done well, but we also need to try and improve the weaknesses,” Lobera told Hindustan Times.

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FC Goa were the runners-up in 2015 but their performance last season was quite disappointing. With just two wins, the team finished last.

Lobera, a former FC Barcelona youth coach, made it clear that his team will not sit back. He believes that maintaining a balance between attack and defence will be the key to success.

“I want my team to have a good balance between attack and defence. At the same time, I have the ability to expand and play wide as well. I like my team to have the initiative and take the ball and control it. It is important that when we lose the ball, the defence is prepared.”

FC Goa travelled to Spain for their pre-season training and their results against the local teams were quite impressive. With three wins in five games, they showed great determination on the field and their 3-0 win over Deportiva Minera was largely thanks to their passing.

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Lobera was quite impressed with their pre-season performances and he believes that match practice was instrumental in teaching his players how to work as a single unit.

“I am very happy with the effort the club put in to take us to La Manga (in Spain). Results don’t matter much at the moment. What is important is how the team turns out. Results will follow.

“We have to keep in mind that we were playing against teams that have been playing together for four months and had played matches in the league earlier. Overall, a very good pre-season.”

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FC Goa will start their campaign against 2015 champions Chennaiyin FC in Chennai on November 19. This will be the first real test for Sergio Lobera in the Indian Super League and Indian football, but the Spaniard is quite confident and he promised that his team’s performances will be a treat to the fans.

“I don’t feel any pressure. Yes, there are high expectations. But I can promise that everyone who comes to watch the team will go back happy not only with the results but also with the style of play,” he said.

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 09:42 IST