Mumbai City FC signs former FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera
Spanish manager Sergio Lobera has been given the hotseat at Mumbai City FC, and will lead the club after Jorge Costa parted ways with the club after two seasons. According to reports, Lobera was courted by Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC as well, but the 43-year-old agreed to take over the role for the Islanders.
“It’s a done deal. The coach has already submitted a list of players that he is keen to have with him at Mumbai. While there is no compulsion on Mumbai to sign whoever he recommends, those that are tried and tested here will surely find favour,” a senior official told The Times of India on Tuesday.
Lobera and FC Goa parted ways at the business end of last season, and Clifford Miranda took over. FC Goa reached the semi-finals, only to be steamrolled in the first leg by Chennaiyin FC. They made a valiant effort to make a comeback in the second leg, but it fell just short.
Lobera can be expected to bring in some players from FC Goa to Mumbai, with Mourtada Fall and Ahmed Jahouh on the top of his list. Mumbai City FC, now with the City Football Group taking over, is set to become one of the powerhouses in Indian football. The same group owns several football clubs on the planet, including current Premier League holders Manchester City.
At his disposal, the Spaniard has Paulo Machado, an influential Portuguese who has been at the club for two seasons now. Machado played six times for the Portugal national team, and is one of the key players in the Mumbai City FC setup. So far, he has scored three times for the club and is the captain of the side.
Lobera, on the other hand, was very instrumental in writing a successful script in just less than three seasons at FC Goa. Under him, the Gaurs reached the semi-finals on all three occasions, and played the final once. They also lifted the Indian Super Cup in August 2019.
Lobera brings the possession based approach to the game and his team prefers to play a 4-2-3-1 system, with attacking full-backs and fluid defensive midfielders. Mumbai City FC are yet to make it to the finals of the competition, let alone lift the trophy. With Lobera and his support staff taking matters in their hands, things could be very different for the Mumbai-based club.
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