Both sides come into the game on the back of disappointing results in their respective previous outings.
Mumbai City FC were brought down to earth by the high-flying FC Goa not long ago and head coach Jorge Costa is already feeling the heat of the job. The manager was critical of his team’s attitude in the game against the Gaurs and was adamant that the team are failing collectively and not as individuals.
Ahead of the fixture on Saturday evening, Costa and Delhi Dynamos assistant coach Mridul Banerjee met the media in a pre-match press conference.
Jorge Costa (Mumbai City)
After failing to score against or even create problems for Goa, Costa feels that his players gave up before the final whistle. The Mumbai tactician was not happy with his players giving up and believes as a professional footballer, one can’t give up.
“We made a lot of mistakes. It was a very good first half. The players did almost everything I asked. We pressed high, we won the ball, we built the game. We had clear chances to score, a lot of them – five, six, seven maybe. We made mistakes. We must be more serious.”
Costa went on to explain everything that he saw and was upset about. “In the second half, first 20 minutes was not bad. But then, we gave up and that’s why I was upset. Not because we lost, not because of the scoreline, but because we gave up. In the last fifteen minutes, we saw the team waiting for the game to finish.”
“Players were not focussed in the game. They gave up. We must respect our job, we must respect our work, we must respect our fans. We cannot give up. Even if you think that it’s impossible to win, we must be serious from the first second to the last second. In the last 20 minutes, I was ashamed. Professional football players, even people working in private life, cannot give up,” he added.
Subhasish Bose playing as a centre-back has been the talk of the Indian footballing fraternity ever since the Intercontinental Cup. It has also been something discussed every time Costa has met the press.
When questioned whether the decision of playing the former Bengaluru FC full-back in the center of the defence backfired Costa opined, “We must be more objective. In the last home game, we played him (Subhasish) as a centre-back and we played well. And we didn’t lose 5-0 because of Subhasish.”
“Yes, he did make one big mistake in one of the goals, but it was not because of Subhasish playing as a centre-back that we lost 5-0.”
It has been a trend for Mumbai to concede in the dying minutes of the game. Infact, Mumbai boast the unwanted record for conceding one of the highest number of goals in the short history of the Indian Super League. However, the Portuguese feels it is not a problem for his side this season.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is finishing the games at 75 minutes. Speaking about this season, the first game we conceded a goal in the last minute when we were playing with three defenders.”
“We were losing 1-0, we had to take risks and we conceded via a counter-attack. Second game, no goals conceded (in the final 15 minutes). Third game, no goals conceded (in the final 15 minutes). Fourth game, I already explained everything,” he concluded.
Mridul Banerjee (Delhi Dynamos FC)
Delhi Dynamos assistant coach Mridul Banerjee believes that injuries are a part and parcel of the game and that his team will be ready to face Mumbai tomorrow. “In football, injuries would always be there. But, our team is ready to play the next game tomorrow.”
Banerjee believes that games coming thick and fast can’t be an excuse for his side. “Every team is playing without long intervals in two games. We played our last match just two days back. Our chief coach is helping the team with everything and so I am here. We think we will play better tomorrow.”
Banerjee believes Mumbai will be ready for the game and that the result of the FC Goa-Mumbai City game will not be making any difference.
Delhi Dynamos have no major injury concerns as they prepare to face the Islanders.
Mumbai City FC
Did You Know?
- Mumbai lead 3-2 in the head-to-head record between the two sides.
- Both Mumbai and Delhi have scored only three goals in four games – expect a low scoring affair.
- Mumbai City have the joint lowest goal difference (-5) in the ISL so far this season.
The match will take place on Saturday at 7:30 PM, at the Mumbai Football Arena. On television, the match will be live on Star Sports. It will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.