The Spaniard was disappointed following his team’s draw against Hyderabad FC.
Hyderabad FC halted Mumbai City in their victorious streak, as the two teams played out a goalless draw on Saturday in the Indian Super League. This is only the third game that the Islanders have dropped points in this season. Head coach Sergio Lobera admitted that his team struggled playing against a side with a similar style of play as them.
Initial thoughts on game
Hyderabad are one of the few teams to have presented a fitting challenge in front of Mumbai. Reflecting on that, Lobera stated, “No, I think Hyderabad played well. We didn’t play the same way as other games. Finally, I think that the draw is a fine result. I think, obviously we want to win. I am not happy because always we want to win three points. But, after watching the game, I think it’s a fine result.”
Concerns over Mumbai’s one-dimensional style of play
The Nizams neutralized Mumbai’s influence significantly and Sergio Lobera was probed about whether oppositions have gradually started countering his team’s philosophy. The tactician disagreed and asserted that his men are capable of altering their approach as per the situation.
“I don’t think so. I think we are playing for example against Chennai in a different way. Obviously, this team is trained to play in our style of play. We are strong when we are playing with the ball, when we have possession of the ball, when we manage the game.
“But, in this case, today we played against a team with a similar style of play like us,” Lobera claimed. He added, “We were not comfortable, especially in the first half. We want to win very quickly. We want to arrive at the opponent very quickly and sometimes it’s possible to confuse.”
Hugo Boumous’ fitness
Hugo Boumous was present on the bench, but didn’t make the starting XI and was not introduced as a substitute. The attacking midfielder has already missed a few matches due to injury concerns this season. Responding to that, Sergio Lobera mentioned, “It’s a bit rest to use one player with some problems.
“Maybe, it was possible to use the player, but maybe it was possible to lose the player for 10 days. You know, to lose one player for 10 days is to lose one player for three games. I prefer to avoid risk and try to recover the player for the next game.”
Impact of Boumous’ absence
Boumous’ absence perhaps robbed Mumbai of some creativity and incisiveness in the final third. However, Lobera refused to blame that for the game’s eventual result. “There are no excuses. I think I have a very good squad.
“I think it’s not right to tell the people we lose two points because one player is not possible to play. We need to improve. We need to be ready for the next situation and it’s not only about one player,” the head coach remarked.
On team’s approach in later stages
Asked whether his team held back from pressing the opposition as the game progressed, Sergio Lobera said, “No, I don’t never I say one point before one game. Always I want to win. Always we want to fight till the end for the three points.
“Obviously, we are not happy with one point. If you go to the dressing room, nobody is happy. We try to fight till the end. But, today it was not possible.”
Concern over lack of goals?
Mumbai City triumphed over ATK Mohun Bagan through a 1-0 victory. They failed to find the back of the net this time around. Lobera was quizzed whether his team are not being clinical in front of goal recently. However, the 44-year-old brushed aside those apprehensions by reiterating their prolific record at both ends of the pitch.
“We are the team with the highest number of goals scored and with big balance between attack and defence. We create a lot of chances and this is the most important thing in football. Finally, we score goals. Today, this situation was not possible to happen. But, I am very happy with my team. We create a lot of chances and if we create chances, we score goals,” the Spaniard asserted.
Hernan Santana’s suspension
Hernan Santana was booked in the 69th minute and will miss the next match against SC East Bengal. Lobera asked his players to exercise caution and avoid getting into confrontation with referees. However, like always, he claimed that the absence of a single player should not affect their preparations for the coming game.
“It’s the same situation as you asked me about Boumous. Losing one player is no excuse to prepare well for the game and to try to get three points. But, for me, it’s not possible to lose one player because he is speaking with the referee. We need to be calm, we need to be patient and we need to put our focus not on the referees, but on the game. Sometimes, it’s not easy, I understand it’s not easy for the players. But, we are losing one player for this situation and we need to improve about this,” the head coach expressed.