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Lobera eyeing clean sheet, Guimaraes hoping to secure top four

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The Gaurs are expected to give more attention to their defensive works against the Islanders on Sunday.

FC Goa will look to secure a third consecutive win when they welcome Mumbai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Sunday in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18. The Gaurs have found the back of the net maximum number of times so far, but will face a defence that has leaked few goals this season. The hosts need to be at their prolific best in front of goal to ensure they solidify their position in the top four.

Prior to the match, Goa’s head coach Sergio Lobera spoke to the media and revealed that their new signing Mark Sifneos could be available for selection. “I focus on how the players perform in training,” Lobera stated. “I cannot guarantee players a place on the basis of how they’ve done before. It will depend on how they do in training and you will see tomorrow. Sifneos is available for tomorrow’s match.”

The Spaniard also informed why Adrian Colunga was released by the club. “Colunga was injured before the two games he was available for,” he revealed. “He played for one game and a half. After that, he came and spoke to me and put a request to leave the club and we acted on that.”

While scoring has been the Gaurs’ forte, the defence has definitely not, speaking on which the 41-year-old remarked, “A coach has to always think on his feet. We always try to improve as much as possible and defensive improvement is part of that. We don’t want to sacrifice what we have. The day we keep a clean sheet I will be happy.”

Lobera was also of the opinion that they did not deserve to lose the reverse fixture and that his team was up to the task. “What we have to focus is on ourselves,” he said. “We can’t think about the other team. I don’t think we deserved to lose in the reverse fixture. We need to ensure that we do as much as possible.”


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Mumbai City FC travel to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa to take on FC Goa in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 on Sunday. The Islanders are without a victory in their previous three fixtures and come off the back of two consecutive losses. They clearly need to up their ante against the formidable Gaurs, if they want to be in contention for the top four slot.

On the eve of the match, the visitor’s head coach Alexandre Guimaraes spoke to the media during the pre-match press conference. The Costa Rican acknowledged Goa’s strength, going on to say that the Gaurs are a changed side from the one Mumbai had beaten earlier this season. “I think we are one of the teams that found a way during the first round to beat them,” he stated. “From that game on, they continued to do what they have been doing well. Because of that, they are in the position that they are. In that game, we managed to control them and I hope tomorrow we do the same.”

The 58-year-old also believes that his team has a good chance of making the cut for the playoffs. “All the teams still have a chance to make the top four,” Guimaraes remarked. “In this season, there has not been too many draws. That is what makes the difference in the top four. We still are in the battle. We have games to play. In the first round, we managed to get points in tough places and I hope tomorrow we can do that too.”

The Islanders’ head coach further explained how his team would approach the coming fixture. “We have been trying to establish a pattern of playing,” he revealed. “With that pattern, we have been playing a good game which sometimes doesn’t match with the points we have. If you play well, you have more chances to win. This is the posture with which we will come tomorrow.”

Published: Sun Jan 28, 2018 02:50 AM IST

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