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We’re on a good pathway, claims Mumbai City FC coach Petr Kratky after ISL title triumph

Published at :May 4, 2024 at 11:44 PM
Modified at :May 4, 2024 at 11:44 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Atawaris Warsi

The Czech coach also gave credit to former coach Des Buckingham

In a gripping ISL finals clash, Mumbai City FC clinched a stunning 3-1 victory over Mohun Bagan Super Giant, marking a remarkable turnaround. Despite conceding an early goal to Jason Cummings, Jorge Pereyra Diaz quickly levelled the score, sparking Mumbai’s resurgence. Bipin Singh and Jakub Vojtuš then sealed the win with two clinical strikes, securing redemption for Petr Kratky’s determined squad.

The match epitomised Mumbai’s resilience and determination to avenge their near-miss for the ISL shield. Though Phurba Lachenpa’s error led to Mohun Bagan’s initial breakthrough, Mumbai City FC swiftly regrouped, showcasing remarkable character and resolve. Pereyra Diaz’s crucial equaliser set the tone for their comeback, while Singh and Vojtuš capitalised on their opportunities to seal a historic triumph. 

Petr Kratky shared his thoughts on the game in the post match press conference:

What does this result mean to Mumbai City?

The Czech coach shared his thoughts on the result and what it means to him and the team. He said, “It means we’re on a good pathway. We have an objective in front of us, we’ve had hard and very good times. But we’ve gotten to two finals in front of a fantastic crowd.

We lost one, we learnt from it and we took our chances today. You get lows and highs in football, but very proud of the group in how they handle situations. It means a lot for the club and for me, because you don’t get these opportunities. We must stay humble, continue our good work and keep ourselves as consistent.”

Thoughts on defeating MB

Petr Kratky praised Mohun Bagan and also explained how his team’s approach was different compared to two weeks ago. “I think we were better in the first half in terms of the footballing. Credit to Mohun Bagan, they are a quality team and Dimi Petratos can shoot and that threat caused the goal.

But I feel our approach today was totally different than two weeks ago, the boys executed the plan perfectly and won. It was a very tight margin on the result. We just tired to stay positive and keep believing, when we scored the first one we had a good pathway and then we scored the second and third and knew the result was done.”

Half-time team talk?

Mumbai City FC turned the game around in the second half. When asked what he said to his team in the halftime break, the coach replied, “That’s why you take positives from negatives. When were winning 2-0 and lost 3-2 to Jamshedpur, and then we were losing 2-0 and won 3-2 against FC Goa. That’s where you turn negatives to positives.

You either give up or you push, we have two choices. We pushed today and got the result. The message for my players is to believe in your ability together, because that is a powerful thing. Sometimes you have better footballers ro luck, but if you keep working you can get a result. We weren’t lucky today, but a good way today performed well and got the win.”

System of MCFC?

Petr Kratky gave deserved credit to former Mumbai City coach Des Buckingham on how he built the system for the team. “It’s not just me, but a credit to Des Buckingham who set up the right pathway for me. The foundation was very good.

But for me to step in and keep going the same way, to make us get better was my goal. I’m very happy with the win, but the credit goes to the whole staff and those behind the scenes. mantra of the City group is we want to play positive football and keep winning things.”

Turning point in the knockout wins?

The tactician also revealed the turning point in the knockout phase. “I think the key for success was, because we lost the shield as we want to play in Asia, but we stayed strong. We knew why we lost that last league game and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Maybe, the turning point was the result against Goa where the spirits lifted unbelievably. How many times do you score 3 goals in 6 minutes in added time? That was the turning point which resulted in this win.”

Journey at MCFC

The coach helped Mumbai City FC a lot. When asked how the journey has been, “The journey has been fantastic. One year ago, I was an assistant coach at Melbourne City and we lost 6-1 to Central Coast Mariners. I promised myself that if I had this opportunity we needed to ensure to get the win and win this one. And I won this final. I need to stay humble, keep working and help the club continuously. My approach is to keep working hard and get better every time, I want to sit here (as the winners) again next season.”

About the Fans

Kratky also expressed his gratitude to the fans. “Thank you to everyone, especially those who came from Mumbai. The West Coast Brigade was fantastic, the atmosphere they create is brilliant. I’m happy to bring the trophy home to them, they deserve this to believing in us until the end. But we can’t sleep in, we need to do better next season. This has been an unbelievable experience for me and the club, we want to bring the cup home to Mumbai City because the fans deserved it.”

 Changes in mindset after the Super Cup?

Mumbai lost the Super Cup to Odisha in the Semi-Finals. When quizzed what change in the mindset the team went through, the coach said, “The mindset for is very good, as this team is full of winners. I want to keep them motivated even if the’re not playing that good.

For me, it was to motivate the players and change to make sure they fight for them. We want to do the best and if we feel the best is good enough, we’ll move into the right direction. We have a clear philosophy in how to play football and now it’s upon us to bring the players to the same direction – which is happening really well.”

Apuia and Noguera pressing?

The coach also added about Apuia and Noguera. “As I said before, the game-plan was to come with at different attitude than two weeks ago. We’ll press, even if mistakes happen. Apuia is a very good player, he deserves a bi more recognition even though Chhangte, Bipin and Vikram score. He handled the team today fantastically, but again Vinit Rai and Jayesh – we have a great contingent of Indian players and it was fantastic to see. I’m very happy for them and Apuia as well.”

Performance of Indian players?

The Indian players’ performance was key to success for Mumbai throughout the campaign. The coach himself expressed, “We want to improve this country, that’s why I came here to help the Indian players improve and get the opportunities. The Indian players had to have a positive attitude, work hard and make for a change.

The foreigners are very good and can transfer their attitude to help the Indian players get even better. I believe we can win the shield for fifteen years and told me director for that. The players like Hamill, Kauko and Petratos they come to help improve football here and they are important to football. For me, it’s the goal to help the players become better and develop them. We need to be patient and help them take the opportunities.”

Next season plans?

Petr Kratky also gave a sneak peek of next season’s plans. “I plan for the next season when I arrive back. The players need to go home now and continue doing what they’re doing. The players will come back in pre-season and we’ll develop our playing style after that. When I arrive back here, I’ll help the players get better and prepare for the season ahead.”

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