Both teams come into the game on the back of contrasting results in their respective first outings.
FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera and Mumbai City FC tactician Alexandre Guimaraes spoke to the media on Friday in a pre-match press conference ahead of the two teams’ meeting in the Indian Super League (ISL) tomorrow.
Lobera emphasized that his team will stick to the attacking game while Guimaraes sounded optimistic about his team’s chances against the high scoring opponents.
Last season Mumbai finished top of the table thanks to the brilliant home form. But this time, they have started the season on a low as they lost in their first outing against Bengaluru FC. Looking ahead to the game against Goa Guimaraes said, “We are glad to play back home and we did fantastically well last season here. Our fans are great and we are expecting them in full capacity to encourage our players and to make them play the way they know how to play.”
The Islanders had only one shot on target in the last match. Asked whether it concerned him much the coach said, “I think we have a lot of analysis to do. In our first game in Bengaluru, there were many situations that did not make us strong in that area. We had key players like Balwant injured and after twelve minutes of the game Leo Costa got injured. So, I am really not very concerned about the situation.
Last season Mumbai had Sony Norde, Diego Forlan and Sunil Chhetri upfront and all of them left this season. So when questioned whether the fans would miss them Guimaraes opined,“I think that our fans have to know that they have to see other players and that’s the reality. We cannot think about what we dream or we should have.”
“The reality is about the players it is not that Mumbai didn’t want them to comeback but they have other ideas where to play and so in that situation we have to move on and choose some players with different characteristics. So, I expect the fans to support those players.(sic)”
Youngsters like Abhinas Ruidas and Sahil Tavora got the chance to start last time out and hence Guimaraes was questioned whether this would happen more often. “If they play the game that means in the pre-season and during preparations they did well and deserved to play. We are here to support young players and develop them and I think this is one of the main tasks to encourage them. Last season too we tried and this season too we would try if possible. Let’s see what happens.”
The Cost Rican was asked whether the current crop has someone who can be the leader like Forlan was the previous season. He answered, “We have players like Achille Emana who has played in top level teams. He had a career that backed him up to come here and guide the other players.”
Sergio Lobera said that he was adamant about sticking with the same methodology…
Goa came out all guns blazing against Chennaiyin FC as they scored three in the first 45 minutes. On that Lobera said, “We had a very good first game but that’s past now. As it is in football, living in the past wouldn’t get you anywhere and so we want to ensure that we focus on the next game. We are very focused about the next game.”
Lobera is very impressed with the way the ISL has been organised. He said, “I am really very surprised with the organisation of the league. I think it’s a very professional and a very organised league. The teams are equally balanced and I think that’s good for the fans. There is no huge disparity between the teams. I am really happy and I congratulate them for organising it so well so far.”
Speaking on team selection Lobera informed, “The only injury we have is Colunga. Unfortunately, he hasn’t recovered from the injury he carried last week but beyond that the team has been the same. Same players have been called up who were called for the previous encounter.”
Lobera said that the idea will be same, to attack from the word go. He explained, “When a team has to perform well you have to stick to the same idea and methodology. The moment you leave that behind and try something different, the performance won’t be good. So, tomorrow when we play we will stick to the same idea on which we have been working on since the past three months.”