The Spaniard stated that it is important to top the table this season so as to get a chance to play in Asia.

Ahead of their first match against Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League, FC Goa head coach Sergio Lobera spoke about his expectations for the new season.

The Gaurs were in touching distance of the ISL trophy, but a late Rahul Bheke header meant that Lobera’s men had to go home with the silver medal.

Nonetheless, they won the Super Cup a month later, but Lobera feels this season they are ready to go for the kill. He said, “I am very excited and I feel all the players, staff and fans we want for the start of the season.”

“The competition is tough, but we have the players who are very good professionals. I am happy with the pre-season but hopefully, we can win the match and get all the three points.”

Lobera also emphasized on how every season is different for him and his team. However, the Spaniard feels this season there will be extra motivation for the clubs to top the league table before going for the trophy, as there is a chance of continental recognition.

“This is a different year and very difficult as well. We want to finish top of the table. Playoffs are necessary, but this season it is important to top the league table, considering we will have the opportunity to represent the country in Asia,” Lobera added.

The former FC Barcelona graduate also spoke about the importance of having quality Indian players to compliment the foreigners. He said, “The preference of Indian players is very important. For example, Bengaluru have good foreign players, but at the same time, they have 4-5 Indian national team players.”

“It is important to win trophies, but also I feel happy when I see my players in the national team. We have three now and I feel more will make it soon.”

Sergio Lobera also shed light on how their last season’s performance has become a yardstick for the team to do well consistently.

“I think it will be difficult for us to improve after last season. Last season we were very good, won the Super Cup and only lost out in the ISL final. Also, I was happy with the way we played and the numbers show for it itself,” he went on.

Lastly, Lobera spoke on FC Goa’s foreign quota and how much Ahmed Jahouh’s absence will affect them in the first game.

“I know we have one foreign player less, as we are allowed to have seven. As a coach, I will like that. But then, I have to respect the club and I believe in the players I have at the moment.”

“Jahouh is suspended for the game, but it is not about individuals it is about the team as a whole. As a coach, I cannot give excuses on missing out a player.”