Indian Super League combine Goa FC have surprisingly fired their illustrious coach Sergio Lobera and several other key members of his support staff. No reason given. No announcement made for the removal of the coach who has assured steady growth of the club, which is leading the ISL points table this season.
Any other professional football set-up would have rewarded the achievements of Sergio Lobera ever since he had taken the reigns of FC Goa from celebrated Brazilian Zico. But the former Barcelona junior team coach has been shown the door by the Indian Super League 2019-20 season leaders.
FC Goa‘s reserve side coach Derrick Perreira will reportedly take charge of the side. He will have a big task to match what the Spaniard has delivered to put the club on path of a steady growth.
Under Lobera, FC Goa had played the ISL semi-finals on 2017-18, last season they have moved up to the final and now the Goars are table toppers and strong title contenders. He has also guided the team to the Indian Super Cup title triumph. Development of Indian youngsters like Brandon Fernandes, Mandar Rao Desai, Manvir Singh, Seriton Fernandes, Lenny Rodrigues is another feather in the cap of the Spaniard coach.
Lobera was still not content and expected more from his players. The coach has reportedly slammed the players in spite of a 4-2 league win over Odisha FC earlier this week. “We got three very important three points but I am not happy. Because this is not the way to play (in the second half) for a team that wants to win the league. It was the same against Chennaiyin and Kerala Blasters,” he had said in the post-match press conference.
The club management and the coach have reportedly had disagreements over his contract renewal after this ongoing season. This has led to an early end of the ties between Lobera and FC Goa.
The coach though had shared the looming uncertainty with The Week in an interview last month. Lobera had told the publication that he wanted to “continue the good work into the next season, regardless of the results this year.
“Nobody has spoken to me about extending the contract,” had was quoted as saying by The Week. “I need to work next season. The future of my family is important. For me, the best option is to continue in Goa, but I need to know something.”
The publication has also published excerpts from an interview of the FC Goa co-owner and president Akshay Tandon on the club’s and the coach’s relationship and future together. He has said that the club management would decide on Lobera’s contract extension only after the current season was over. “We would love to have continuity. Given how much Sergio has given to the club, it would be great to start a new innings with him. However, we have decided we will only take a decision once the season is over. We will evaluate once we know whether the club will play in Asia or not, and at what level. Playing in Asia would mean a new strategy for the club and its technical staff and it will be important to align everyone with the club’s strategy and vision,” Tandon had reportedly said.