Table-toppers Mumbai City FC are set to face the only unbeaten side in the league, Chennaiyin FC, on 15th Novembar. The Islanders will be looking to solidify their position at the top. Coach Des Buckingham answered questions from the media. Here are the excerpts from the pre-match press conference.
Thoughts on tomorrow’s game
“It doesn’t matter where we are right now. What matters is where we are at the end of the season. We will take every game at a time. We mustn’t get carried away. We expect another tough game against a very good team. They are the only unbeaten team in the league. It’s a challenge and we are ready for it.”
Des on breaking Chennaiyin defence
“We have seen the signs of evolving our playing style in the last 5 games we have played. It’s important to evolve during the season. Teams will watch our games and try to work out how we play and stop us. We are fortunate to have a variety of different types of players where we can mix and make changes in the starting lineup.”
Des on building the team around young Indian players.
“There have been some wonderful youth players with whom I have worked. We want the best young players here in Mumbai, whether young or old. We want to develop them and play well in our style.“
“Speaking as the head coach of Mumbai City FC, I would want the best Indian young players in the club. I want to develop and work with these players to help them progress in their careers and develop football in India. We have an individual development plan for every player, not just youth players but also senior players. We work with them to develop them through training, game footage, and gym programs. It’s a very tracked program so that we can not only see where they are now but also put things in place so that we can develop them and show progression by the end of the season.”
Des on the Jamshedpur FC game
“You are never going to have total control of a game for 90 minutes. . There will be patches and periods where the opposition has the momentum. We conceded two against Jamshedpur but our reaction was pleasing. We spoke earlier in the season that we need to stand up as the Champions when we face such challenges. We recovered quickly and scored the fourth goal to secure the game. I’m trying to pick up points as the season goes on.”
Des on the absence of Rowllin Borges.
“In the preseason, Rowllin picked up a hamstring injury. We brought him from the bench in the first few games to give him the much-needed match fitness. Apuia and Jahouh have started in midfield. They have gelled very quickly and played very well in the first few games. Borges has got a small knock at the moment, which we are assessing. We are hopeful of getting him into the group as soon as possible.”
Des on why he was wearing a black armband in the last game.
“I was informed that my grandmother had passed away. She was the most important person in our family. She brought me up as a young man and she is a huge reason behind the person I’m today. That was the reason behind the black armband. Just a mark of respect because I can’t get back and share this moment with my family. But I will do it with my family in Mumbai.”‘
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