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I have confidence in my team, says Odisha FC coach Sergio Lobera ahead of second leg

Published at :April 26, 2024 at 7:06 PM
Modified at :April 26, 2024 at 7:06 PM
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(Courtesy : Odisha FC Media)

Gourav Samal

In the first leg of the ISL semis, Sergio Lobera’s Odisha FC outwitted Mohun Bagan at the Kalinga.

After defeating Mohun Bagan at the Kalinga Stadium, Odisha FC are now aiming for another strong performance at the Salt Lake Stadium in the second leg of the semi-final of the Indian Super League 2023-24. 

Odisha will require to win or draw the match to cement their place in the final of the tournament as they have won the first leg of the semi-final at the Kalinga Stadium by a 2-1 margin. 

The pre-match press-conference was attended by Odisha FC’s head coach Sergio Lobera and player Jerry Mawihmingthanga. Here are the excerpts. 

About the game

Odisha FC will undoubtedly enter the game with an advantage in their side as they have won the first leg of the clash. When a question was raised regarding the match, coach Sergio Lobera replied, “I know, the game is not going to be easy at this stadium but we showed character over here and won the AFC Cup match against the same team. I have confidence in my team because my players have always proved that they are ready for big matches. I hope we will get a positive result from here and get into the final.”

“It’s always good to play against a good side. And it’s a good feeling to play these kinds of matches for every player. It really excites me more now. We will try our best and give our best for the team,” Jerry added. 

Experience at Salt Lake Stadium

Odisha FC have already defeated Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium this season in the AFC Cup. But the coach termed it as past and hinted at moving ahead and looking forward to the next game. He said, “The atmosphere was very good for us in the previous games. It was amazing to be here in the middle of the season. My players have done well in the last game over here. The supporters also helped us a lot, as they kept on pushing us in every good and bad moment. But it is past, we now need to focus on the next game.”

Playing in front of a huge crowd

When you are at Salt Lake Stadium, you can expect a huge base of supporters for the home team. The same will also be witnessed in the upcoming match as well. The Odisha FC boss however, is taking this as motivation.

“When you are playing in front of a lot of people in a stadium like this, it means you are playing for something important. I think this is not just a motivation for me as a coach but also for the players as well,” Sergio Lobera stated.  

Focus on Semi-final

If Odisha FC get into the final, they will be facing either Mumbai City FC or FC Goa for the title. But Odisha’s coach didn’t give any statement regarding the final as he wanted to focus on the semi-final at first. 

He said, “I don’t want to think of the final. All my focus is on the semi-final match. After this game, if we get into the final, we will think about it.”

Playing for the people

Sergio Lobera has always thanked the supporters for their regular support for the team. He stated the same in this press conference. 

“Our responsibility is to make our people happy. Maybe they are feeling the pressure more than us at the moment. It is also important for both the teams to win the trophy. But we are in a good position. We just need to enjoy the moment and make our people happy, as they deserve it,” he concluded.

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