After a process of necessary abrasion and re-calibration, NEUFC and Mumbai City FC will aim to change their fortunes in the seventh season of ISL as they clash at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa on Saturday.
"This will be a difficult game. This will be the most competitive season as there are many good teams. I am working hard with my players. At the end of the season, our fans should be happy with our performances," said Lobera in a statement.
"We play attacking football. In this scenario, it's not easy working in such a short span. It's a challenge and we need to adapt to different circumstances," added the 43-year-old.
After finishing ninth last season, NorthEast United have gone for an overhaul and have made a whopping 19 signings. The acquisition of good foreign recruits along with youthful Indian talent may just be what the Highlanders need to push them into the top half of the table. "We want to be competitive and strong. We want to be a team that fights and does not give up," said NEUFC coach Gerard Nus.
The Highlanders have managed to qualify for the play-offs just once in the last six seasons and are currently on a 14-match winless streak (6 draws and 8 losses) from previous season. Their opening fixture of the new season wouldn't be an easy affair. "We know about the strengths they (Mumbai) have assembled. We need to put more attention on ourselves and will take it one game at a time," he added.