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It would not have made a difference had we won all the previous matches against ATK - Lobera

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The Gaurs fell to a 1-1 draw last time against the Bengal Tigers.

FC Goa welcome defending champions ATK at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa in their penultimate Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 league-stage encounter on Wednesday. After suffering a poor run of form, the Gaurs brought themselves back into contention for playoff qualification with a bang, as they put to the sword a formidable FC Pune City by a 4 – 0 scoreline in their last match. They would still need victories from their last two fixtures to seal a spot without depending on the results of the other teams. However, they will be wary of the fact that they have never beaten their opponents in the history of the league.

The host’s head coach Sergio Lobera was present to address the media during the pre-match press conference and mentioned which area he prefers to stress on in a football match. “For me, the most important thing always is to win. If we can do it in the way we did in the last game, even better,” he stated. “But to win, you have to do certain things right. Ultimately, everything is together because winning is a consequence of doing multiple things right.”

The Spaniard also emphasized on the importance of getting maximum points from their remaining fixtures. “We are at a stage where once one game finishes, the next game is the most important one. We know that tomorrow’s game is important for us.”


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He further continued, “We fought a lot to reach this point, where qualification at this moment depends on us completely. We have a lot of excitement and we really believe in finishing the work that we started a few months ago. Hopefully, when the next two games are done, our fans would be happy as we would hopefully be competing in the semi-finals.”

The Gaurs have never beaten ATK, but the 41-year-old was quick to dismiss that fact. “The records are always there to be broken,” Lobera said. “I think what is there in the past is in the past, which has no relevance to what is going to happen tomorrow. It would not have made a difference had we won all the previous matches against ATK. I am not nervous either, just because we have not won against them. Tomorrow is a new scenario, a new team and a different season as well.”

Meanwhile, ATK assistant coach Bastab Roy revealed the aim for ATK’s remaining matches. “We are struggling this year, which is true,” he said. “But we have two games in our hands, and we’ll try to improve and go forward. Maybe, (we will aim to) finish eighth.”

Regarding opponents Goa, Roy stated, “FC Goa is a good and well-balanced side. They are still in the run for the top-four. So it is an uphill task for us and we will try to give our best.”

Published: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:40 AM IST

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