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Lobera labels Bengaluru 'strongest team' in league, Roca keeen to adapt to Goa's humid Weather

Written by: Amber Leo Pereira


Both managers are expecting an open game.

FC Goa host Bengaluru FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa on Thursday. BFC come into the match with two victories out of two matches. As for FC Goa who lost their last match against Mumbai City FC, this will be their first home game of the season.

Speaking to the press, FC Goa’s coach Sergio Lobera on being asked whether there’s any pressure to plan something unexpected since Bengaluru have a great idea about how FC Goa will go about their business he replied, “Bengaluru know how we play, we know how they play, every other team knows how we play, we all know how each other play. But for me, it’s important that we maintain our philosophy, idea and our style of play."

He added, "We need to focus more on ourselves and on how we execute our plans. Bengaluru is a strong team. In my opinion till this point in time in the two games that they have played, they’ve shown that they are the team with the best form. They have shown that they are the strongest team so far. As for us, we need to make sure that we get our results against the team that I consider superior.”

The Spaniard defended Laxmikant Kattimani with regard to his current form. He said, “For me, Kattimani is a fantastic goalkeeper. When we come towards the end of the league if we did a balance of how many points we might have lost or gained because of him, you will see that it will be the number of points gained because of him.”

Lobera also said that he believes in him and has always believed in him since day one. He also added, “It is very easy to criticize goalkeepers because they are more in the spotlight than other players on the field.”

“Fans will enjoy Thursday's game because there are two teams who are very attacking in nature,” said Lobera. He also envisaged an open match and said it will come down to who takes their chances in front of goal.

"Before expecting something from the fans we should first give to the fans," exclaimed Lobera. He also said,  "Thursday is our first opportunity to show what the team is all about. We’ll put in our best efforts and see that our fans are happy with what they have seen and experienced.

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The Bengaluru FC head coach Albert Roca was also present at the pre-match press conference. He said, “It is going to be a tough match for both. They have power. They have a good midfield with (Manuel) Lanzarote, Ahmed Jahouh, even Coro (Ferran Corominas). They have a lot of experience. Mandar is also a great player. Goa can beat us Thursday if we are not 100 percent focused and I’m sure about that.”

Speaking about the injuries in the team Roca said, “Lalthuammawia Ralte and Joyner (Lourenco) are injured. Dimas (Delgado) is getting better. He's not ready for Thursday yet. John Johnson suffered a knock in the morning practice and I'm waiting for the medical report to see if he can play Thursday.

Reflecting on their I League away fixtures last season from which they won just two last season Roca said, “The climate is the important factor which affects the team's play. Goa is more humid as compared to Bangaluru. There is no team in the world that can play at home and not play away it is something that everyone knows. It is for the supporters because you feel different and little things like that.”

Published: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:23 PM IST


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