Des Buckingham – Every game we play is a challenge, not just against Mohun Bagan


Des Buckingham, Mumbai City FC‘s head coach, and young defender Akash Mishra were present in the pre-match press conference held on Saturday before the Islanders’ Quarterfinal clash against Mohun Bagan Super Giant on Sunday.

Mumbai have been enjoying a fine run of form in their new season. They remain unbeaten and have scored 12 goals in the Durand Cup 2023, and just conceded once against Mohammedan SC. Speaking on that, Des explained how he got the chance to have a look at some of his new players.

Des Buckingham

“I’m very happy. We just wanted to pick up where we left off from last year. In the three Durand Cup games, we’ve tried a few different things, and we had a chance to look at new players. And it’s been a good start. Wherever where we are at the moment. I’m eager to look forward to what’s ahead of us.”

Des also said that there won’t be anymore further business or incoming in the remaining time before the transfer window closes on the 31st. He is satisfied with the full squad that he has in front of him.

“We’ve got everybody fully fit and trained. And we had a session last night where I think for the first time since preseason, we had 20 or 28 players fully training. So no injury concerns at all going into into the game for tomorrow. I’m very happy with where our players currently stand fitness-wise.”

Mumbai City remains unbeaten against Mohun Bagan ever since they joined the Hero ISL. Presently the tie stands in City’s favour, but Des feels it’s not something that will give them a boost.

“It’s not something I look at, to be honest. I don’t think what’s happened is in the past. We do everything to prepare well whether it’s for Mohun Bagan or any other team that we come up against. If we did that properly then we’d put ourselves in a strong position to hopefully come away with a result. But again we know that’s not always the case in football. We’ve only got control of stuff that we have.”

Mohun Bagan have been very active in the summer transfer window as they brought in the likes of Cummings, Sadiku, and Hector among foreigners, or even Sahal, Thapa, and Anwar if we talk about the domestic players. Des wished them for their AFC Cup campaign and feels they are a good side.

“I think every game we play is a challenge. They’ve obviously recruited the players that allow them to play the type of football they want to play this year, and we’ll sort of see how that goes. They’ve done well to qualify for the AFC Cup group stages which is great for Indian football since it gives us another berth. We won’t look too much at what they’ve done. We’ll try and prepare for what we might face.”

“I feel like at home here in Mumbai City FC,” – Akash Mishra

Akash Mishra completed his first month in the Mumbai City FC camp since his switch from Hyderabad FC. He spoke on how his first few weeks have been adapting life to his new club and with teammates.

“It’s been great so far. I know many of them from before as well. Some of them are also my former teammates, while I know some from the national team camp. So I would say it was kind of an easy transition for me. And it’s like, I’ve said before as well that I feel like home here at Mumbai City FC.”

Akash Mishra was linked with a move to Mohun Bagan in the summer transfer window along with his present club Mumbai City FC. Akash clarified what led him to join the latter instead of the Mariners.

“I think everybody knows what Mumbai City have done in past years, and what head coach Des has done with the Indian players. So one of the most important things was the way they like to play. The biggest thing was that I wanted to improve myself too. And we have seen so many young players in the club becoming a star of Indian football. That’s why I chose them and I’m really happy to be here.”

Mumbai City FC will be playing their next game in the Durand Cup quarterfinals against Mohun Bagan Super Giant on Sunday evening at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan Stadium from 6 PM.

Follow IFTWC for all the latest updates on Indian Football.

Liven Bose
Liven Bose
A die-hard Mohun Bagan supporter and Indian Football fan from Kolkata who dreams of seeing glorious and successful days ahead.

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