However for the 2020-21 season, MCFC, having come under the umbrella of the ambitious City Football Group (CFG), has only one objective in front of it – to see the ‘Blue Moon’ rise in India. As an opening move, Mumbai City recruited Spanish head coach Sergio Lobera, the mastermind behind FC Goa’s rise in the last three years.
Lobera, whose departure from FC Goa midway through the ISL 2019-20 campaign was a bolt from the blue, is focussed on writing a successful chapter at his new club. “We cannot change what happened in the past. We work in the present to affect the future. I know where I am and I accept the challenge,” asserted Lobera during a virtual presser on Tuesday.
“I want this pressure as I am at a very good club that has very good players. I am delighted to be a part of MCFC and CFG. I am excited for this project and cannot wait for the season to start,” added the 43-
year-old tactician in the build-up to the ISL Season 7, which is set to get rolling on November 20 in Goa.
In an effort to make a mark in the immediate future, Mumbai City heavily backed Lobera in the transfer window, pulling of some stunning coups.
While signing four of the manager’s blue-eyed boys – Mandar Rao Dessai, Mourtada Fall, Ahmed Jahouh and Hugo Boumous – MCFC secured loan deals for goal poachers Adam le Fondre and Bartholomew Ogbeche. Talking about his star-studded unit, Lobera said: “I am very happy with the squad I have. We worked for a long time to assemble this team. We have some of the best players in our set-up, but it is an amazing problem to fit them all in the playing eleven .With the players we have here, I think we are building something special.”
On paper, Mumbai City boasts of one of the strongest squads in the 11-team competition. But, Lobera dismissed talks of being the favourite for the ISL title and the ‘League Winner’ Shield. “It will be a difficult and competitive season. There are some great clubs that have won trophies. However, we will work hard to finish at the number one spot.” During the media interaction, the MCFC boss also gave thumbs up to the five-substitute rule that will be implemented in ISL 2020-21. “In my opinion, it is good to have more substitutions. When teams have more options, they can change the direction of games,” he said.