The Mumbai City FC boss also praised young Indian players Amey Ranawade, Bipin Singh and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy for their impressive performances.
Mumbai City FC played out a 1-1 draw against Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League on Monday evening. The Islanders gained a lead in the 21st minute through a thumping header from Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Marina Machans created a flurry of opportunities, but couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net. However, they managed to level the scores when Esmael Goncalves converted a spot-kick in the 76th minute. Following the game, Sergio Lobera spoke in the post-match press conference.
Thoughts on result
Mumbai looked well on course to claim their 10th victory of the campaign. However, Sergio Lobera emphasized immensely on performances and not merely the outcomes of matches.
“Obviously disappointed, disappointed about the result. Because my players have done a big effort. They play a very good game. We managed the game very well. I am happy compared the last game versus East Bengal. When you are losing two points in one gift (sic), obviously we are not happy,” he began.
Ahmed Jahouh’s foul
The Spaniard was visible disappointed by Ahmed Jahouh’s error that led to Chennaiyin’s goal. He stressed upon avoiding such mistakes, especially with the experience that his players possess.
“Obviously, we need to avoid these kind of situations. We have players with experience. We need to know when it’s possible to do some things and when it is not possible,” Sergio Lobera expressed.
“Obviously, I think it’s (the foul) a big mistake, but we need to put our focus in the next game. Jahouh is a very good player and helps us a lot in a lot of games. But, we need to improve some things and today with one gift (sic) we lose the points,” he opined.
Jahouh’s disciplinary record
Jahouh has already collected three yellow cards and two red cards in 11 matches this season. He missed critical encounters against ATK Mohun Bagan and FC Goa due to suspension. Despite his exemplary midfield displays, this disciplinary record continues to be a chink in his armour.
“I think Jahouh, the numbers, the stats in defence speak about this situation. He needs to take some risk – because they, without the ball, work a lot. But, with his experience, maybe sometimes it’s better to try to avoid these situations,” he expressed.
“It’s not the same to take the risk in our box, in midfield or in the opponent box. It’s very important to know when it’s possible to take risks. In terms of fouls, I know Jahouh made a lot of fouls. But, he is playing 100% without the ball and maybe these situations sometimes might happen,” Lobera continued.
Rowllin Borges’ suspension for next match
“I have a very good squad and there are no excuses. Obviously, Borges is an important player for us, a very good player for us. But, my job as a coach is to think the best option for the next game. Obviously, losing one player is not excuse to not win the next game,” he clarified.
Four simultaneous substitutions
Mumbai introduced Adam le Fondre, Mehtab Singh, Cy Goddard and Jackichand Singh into the game moments after Chennaiyin’s goal. Explaining the reason behind the move, the tactician remarked, “We played one game two days ago and obviously my players have to be careful. We need some players coming from the bench in the last 15 minutes to try to change the result because we conceded one goal just before the substitutions.”
Thoughts on young domestic players
Amey Ranawade earned plaudits for his fantastic performance against Chennaiyin FC. Similarly, players like Bipin Singh and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy have improved by leaps and bounds under Lobera’s tutelage.
“I am very happy with the performance of these players. They want to learn. Their attitude, it’s amazing,” the 44-year-old said.
“Day-by-day, they have the opportunities to show everyone their level. I am very happy because they are helping our team a lot. I am very happy because they deserve this situation, when they have the opportunity to play to show everyone their level,” Sergio Lobera added.
Bartholomew Ogbeche breaking another record
Bartholomew Ogbeche surpassed Marcelinho to become the third-highest goalscorer in the history of the ISL with his strike against Chennaiyin. The Nigerian has now scored 32 goals in 47 appearances, only behind Ferran Corominas (48) and Sunil Chhetri (43) in the list. The striker also has five goals in the ongoing season and has recorded a strike every 103.8 minutes till now.
“I want to tell him congratulations and thank you. He is a very good player, a wonderful professional and an excellent person. To have in my team one player like him is amazing because he helps us a lot during the games. But, off the pitch, he is an amazing person, always with positive attitude. I want to congratulate him not only about scoring goals, but about how he is as a person,” Lobera concluded.