The Islanders’ tactician is keen for his team to win both their remaining league games.
Mumbai City FC will face FC Goa in their penultimate league match of the season. After having suffered a humiliating 2-4 defeat in their earlier meeting back in November, the Islanders would be keen to inflict a loss upon the Gaurs, who have undergone a significant change in their managerial setup in the past few days. Head coach Jorge Costa and player Pranjal Bhumij addressed the media personnel ahead of the game.
Bhumij was straightaway asked about how he felt regarding the lack of playing time in this campaign. He answered, “It’s true that I haven’t got the playing time. I am working hard for that. I haven’t thought that I would not get the playing time. It also needs to be assessed from the perspective of each game too.”
Furthermore, Bhumij was prompted to speak on the impact that senior forwards such as Modou Sougou and Amine Chermiti have had on him. He said, “They are very good players. They are senior players and they guide us about how to play. We are getting to learn a lot from them, as they are very prominent players, they have played a lot. We have learnt a lot of new stuff from them, which we weren’t aware of earlier.”
Two Games To Go
Later, Jorge Costa commenced his address to the media by saying, “I am happy with my team, the performance and the last result. We have two games till the end of the regular season, six points. We need points to finish in the top four.
“Tomorrow will be a very difficult game against one of the best teams in the ISL. It is one team that history says is always difficult for us to play against. But, tomorrow we have to fight for the three points and we will fight because we want to go home with the three points.”
Favourites For Playoffs?
Jorge Costa was posed with an interesting question, when he was asked whether Mumbai City were the favorites to attain the fourth spot, ahead of Chennaiyin FC and Odisha FC who are also fighting to finish in that position. Costa observed, “Everything can happen. What I said after the last game is, I don’t know what will happen in the end. I don’t know if we will win these two games or not, but I am very proud of all the work that we have been putting since the beginning.
“So whatever happens in these two games, I will keep it because I think we have been doing an amazing job from the start. The good thing for us is that we depend on the things that we must do or we can do. We are not depending on the others to lose points, to not win games. So, we must keep doing our job and try to win games.
“We have two very difficult games, but my target, my focus is tomorrow. I will give my best tomorrow. The players will give their best tomorrow. I will play with my best first XI, in my opinion of course, in the conditions that we have. I will do my best to go back home with the three points.”
Good Time To Play Goa?
Another journalist probed Jorge Costa on whether this was the best time to play FC Goa considering Sergio Lobera was dismissed at the beginning of this month. Costa remarked, “They will not change anything. Goa, they have been doing so well from the beginning that they didn’t change the players; they didn’t change some people from the management.
“So, they didn’t have time to work on different things and to be honest, I think that they don’t need to change. They are so good; they are playing so well that they don’t need to change. So, I don’t think that they will change players in the first XI, almost 100% I can tell the first XI of Goa tomorrow. I can tell how they are going to play. The only thing I cannot tell is the final result.”
What The Stats Say
The former FC Porto captain was then put in a spot by being quizzed about whether the double over Bengaluru FC remains Mumbai’s highlight for the campaign, regardless of whatever happens in their next two games. Costa asserted, “No, no, no. I am very proud from the first day that we start. I think in my job and the players, the people they always see the results. If we qualify for the top four, people will say, ‘Wow, very nice job.’ If we don’t, they will say different things.
“But, I know what I am doing from the first day. The players know what they are doing from the first day. I will not allow anyone to say different things about the things that I know and the players know. We are doing well and I am so proud of this team that I cannot say that the two games against Bengaluru were the (highlight). I am still waiting for the best moment of the season.”
There was another statistical question on the way. A journalist remarked that Goa win most of the games where they score first, but have a tendency to concede a lot of goals in the second half too. Jorge Costa replied to this by stating, “I know that Goa can score in set-pieces, in counter-attacks, Hugo (Boumous) is doing things that are amazing, so he can do different things and he can score.
We know all this, but also we know that we can do very good things. We have 14 different players scoring in different situations. Also, I believe that other coaches do not know exactly what we can do. That’s why I am thinking that tomorrow we can and we will for sure have a nice game.”
Modou Sougou will return after serving his one-match suspension from the last game. However, Amine Chermiti will now have to sit out after having accumulated the threshold number of yellow cards required to be sidelined for one match.
Serge Kevyn might be battling a fitness concern too, considering he had to be substituted in the last game after being brought on the field at the start of the second half.
Mumbai City FC and FC Goa have come up against each other 13 times in the history of the ISL, with the former having won four games and Goa emerging triumphant in six matches. Three of the games have ended up in draws.
Amrinder, Rafique, Pratik, Grgic, Subhasish, Borges, Sourav, Larbi, Diego Carlos, Raynier, Sougou.
The game will commence from 7:30 PM IST on Wednesday evening. It will be telecast live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD. It will also be available to stream on Hotstar and Jio TV.