Lobera says no room for complacency as they face Bengaluru and ATK Mohun Bagan in back to back games…
Mumbai City are in a rich vein of form but coach Sergio Lobera feels that they will be in for a tough challenge when take on Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League on Tuesday.
Although the Islanders recorded a 2-0 win against Hyderabad and Kerala in their last two games, Lobera thinks that it will not be easy to score as Bengaluru are a tough nut to crack.
“I think it’s going to be a different game than the last two. Bengaluru are very compact and very good in defense. It will be difficult for us and we need to manage the situation,” said he Spaniard.
“Obviously, as a coach, we need to analyse. The most important thing is not only the result but to analyse how to win. In the last game, we started very well, scored two goals but after that provided Kerala with opportunities to score. We had very good chances to close the game. A 3-0 is a very difficult result (scoreline to overcome) for any team. We need to improve to convert our chances and when you are leading 2-0 it’s not good to concede chances for the other team to score. But I am very happy with my squad. We are improving, we are winning and we need to continue working in the same way,” he added.
ATK Mohun Bagan have gone a point clear of Mumbai City after their win against NorthEast United. But with a game in hand and an opportunity to beat the Kolkata giants on January 11, Lobera wants to put no pressure on his side to reclaim the top spot. Currently, he does not want to look at the table and instead is focussing on the next match.
“We need to enjoy playing football and put out focus in every game. Our focus now is on the game against Bengaluru. Step by step, game by game, we need to improve. At the end of the season, the table is important but now the most important thing is the next game. We don’t feel pressure. We are playing good football and we have had very good results until now.
“I think all motivation depends on ourselves more than other teams. This doesn’t depend on ATK [Mohun Bagan] or other teams’ results. We need to work and improve our level in every game. The start of the season was very good for us but in this season you can see that it can change in a few games. ATK are doing a very good job but there are good teams in the competition and everything can change any time.”
Mumbai are on an enviable seven-match unbeaten streak but the former Las Palmas manager has blown away any room for complacency.
“I’m not worried (of complacency). I have a very good team with experienced players. They know how to improve in difficult conditions. For example, we play again two days later against another big game but my players know the situation and they want to improve day by day. I’m very happy about this situation.”
The former Goa coach is also unpertubed about his lacklustre record against Bengaluru (W1, D1, L4).
“The past is the past and it doesn’t affect the future. These are different teams and different players. We are preparing in the same way. We need to know the small details of the opponent team that can help us. It’s always very difficult to play against Bengaluru but the most important for us is to give our best.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Rowllin Borges feels that the squad has adapted to Lobera’s philosophy quite well and is ready to perform according to the demands of the situation.
“It was not very difficult (adapting) with players like [Ahmed] Jahouh and [Hug Boumous. They are quality players also for the style of play the coach wants to play.
“Every match is important for us and we are going for three points. There is pressure for me to perform in every match and I will try to help the team in every possible way I can. The formation and the role has been the same. It’s just the demand of the game. If the game demands me to attack or defend, I do that. It depends on the game,” the Goan stated.