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ISL Media

Lobera wants defensive improvements, Popovic relishes Goa challenge

Written by: Amber Leo Pereira


Its a game that promises lots of goals...

FC Goa take on FC Pune City in the Indian Super League match that will be played at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Goa later today.

The Gaurs will look to continue their fine run this season having lost just one match in the five they have played. As for Pune City, they lie 5th on the table and come into the match after a 3-1 loss against Bengaluru FC.

FC Goa head coach Sergio Lobera was asked about the improvement in the defensive areas of the team as a complete contrast to their attacking game and said, “It is important to get the defensive balance right. We are working hard to achieve it when we are working on the field that is our objective. We need to keep improving as much as possible.”

“The team needs to play as one, I have said this on many occasions. The Goan players are at a very good level and I’m very pleased with them and with the work they have put in so far,” said Lobera speaking about the quality in the Indian players in his side.

“I see Pune and Goa as an El Classico” said Lobera on being asked about the biggest match in football that is played between Real Madrid and Barcelona. He further added, “It is a big game. We give a good performance so that the team does well and the spectators are entertained as well.”

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FC Pune City coach Ranko Popovic spoke on the Spanish players in the opposing team said, “I like Spanish players they have a different style of play. Lobera has made good use of these Spanish players and therefore they sit first on the table. Not forgetting the Indian players who are also doing fine for the team.”

Popovic went all out against the refreeing after his side received quite a few red cards in the previous matches especially talking about the previous match, “Ours was the team that dominated the game until the moment, but this decision changed the game.”

He continued, "Many players from other teams come, surround and push the refree, my players don’t because I have told them not to do that. I feel we should be treated with more respect than just this”

“It is a big motivation for us,” said Popovic on being asked how challenging it is to play against a free-flowing Goa side. He further added, “Because we play against a team which is most effective in the league, it is a test for us to see how we can play a good game and to not give them too many chances to score goals.”

"My main aim is to always go for the win. We need to  put all our energy to win the game. Our main objective should be to win the game. You can leave the pitch as a loser if you give your everything on the pitch. You can lose the game but you arent a loser,” said the Serbian on being questioned whether a draw is the best possible result in the game.


Published: Sat Dec 23, 2017 08:06 PM IST



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