Good teams like Mumbai City FC show their best during bad moments, asserts Sergio Lobera

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Mumbai City FC head coach Sergio Lobera feels that good teams always show their best during the bad moments, just the way they showed when the club experienced a slump during the 2020-21 ISL, despite a great start to their season. The ‘Islanders’ went on to win the league title last season.

Mumbai City FC was a mediocre team and never managed to play in the final of the Indian Super League prior to the 2020-21 season, but things changed drastically after the appointment of City Football Group as one of their major stakeholders. It saw the ISL side recruit high-profile domestic and foreign players along with Spanish manager Sergio Lobera.

The start of 2020-21 ISL was extraordinary for the ‘Islanders’, barring a loss to Northeast United FC, but they slumped during the midway phase. However, the club bounced back very well, claiming the League Winners Shield and also the League title. It saw the Islanders' boss Sergio Lobera admit that good teams always show their best during the bad moments, just the way they showed when things de-railed during the previous season.

“You have to be ready for these moments. You cannot always dominate games, and you cannot be dominant all through. Good teams show their best during the bad moments. We were a very good team, and we were a family. When you are a family, during the difficult moments, you can come back stronger. We need to analyse when you win and lose,” said Sergio Lobera, during an interview with TOI.

“You cannot think like a journalist or a fan -- when you win, it’s amazing; when you lose, everything is terrible. That’s not correct. Maybe when you are on an unbeaten run of 12 matches, winning 10 and drawing the other two, there is still a need to improve. When you lose a game, maybe you played better than the last game, which you won. The most important thing is balance. It is not all black and white. For me as a coach, there is grey,” added the manager.

By virtue of winning the League Winners Shield, Mumbai City FC directly qualified for next season’s AFC Champions League group stage. Speaking on the same, Lobera admitted that it would be a huge challenge for his team to compete at the continental meet, signing good players can make things even.

“It’s one challenge more. It’s a big challenge and I think you need to have different planning. But now, most important is to enjoy the present. About the future, we will have time to think. If you have a very good plan for the long term, not just short term, if you sign good players it’s possible for Indian clubs to compete in Asia,” opined the Spaniard.

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