Mumbai City FC Head coach Sergio Lobera has stated that this season of the Indian Super League will be the most competitive edition ever with a number of very strong teams competing for the title this time around. Mumbai City FC have done a complete overhaul of their system with 20 new recruits.
What Mumbai City FC have done in the pre-season window this summer left everyone stunned, with the club having acquired the services of some of the best in the league. Starting from the star of the last season Hugo Boumous to two-time A-league golden boot runner-up Adam Le Fondre, from playmaker Ahmed Jahouh to promising Indian right-back Mohammed Rakip, they have the ingredients to go all the way.
If that’s not enough, the Islanders have got Sergio Lobera on the touchline who will insert his aggressive approach, unlike Jorge Costa’s conservatism. However, come their campaign opener against NorthEast United, Lobera was very cautious with his words, saying this season of ISL is going to be the most competitive of the lot.
“We’re extremely happy with the arrangements and how the pre-season has shaped up. It has been a difficult time for everyone involved but we have managed to put all distractions on one side and train hard. It is going to be a big challenge to adapt to different situations because I feel it is going to be the most competitive ISL season till date with a number of very strong teams,” Lobera said in the pre-match presser, reported Goal.com.
“My focus at all times will be on working hard and doing the basics right. We need to play our game and find solutions on the pitch. We would like to play attacking football which is why it is important to focus on our strengths. Apart from that, the team has a strong mentality and I’m sure that we will rise above the difficulties and keep working hard in order to achieve our goals.”
Mourtada Fall, Ahmed Jahouh and Hugo Boumous have been Lobera’s trusted playmakers since his days in Moghreb Tetouan who then moved to FC Goa when Lobera was in charge of the team. Now that the Spaniard joined the City Group-owned franchise, they followed their boss, which will be a comforting factor for Lobera while devising tactics. However, Lobera didn’t buy that idea and stated that four or five players don’t make the crux of the team.
“Of course, knowing a few of the players in the side from beforehand will be helpful because I know their strengths and weaknesses having worked with them before. It makes it easier to implement the style that I want my team to play. However, 4-5 individuals do not make the entire squad and all of us need to be on the same page for us to be difficult. Also, it is difficult to change the playing style when you have such a short pre-season. So we will take each game as it comes and try to improve every day.”