With just three games to go, the Islanders must win their remaining fixtures.
Mumbai City FC will face Jamshedpur FC in their 16th league encounter of the season. The Islanders’ head coach Jorge Costa and defender Pratik Chaudhari addressed the media ahead of the match. Costa spoke on a variety of issues ranging from the upcoming match, to the new signing that his side made and also about Sergio Lobera’s dismissal from FC Goa earlier this week.
Speaking about his approach to the game, Costa said, “We must respect Jamshedpur. We will not change a lot of things and for sure we will not change the way we play. You know, sometimes in some games, we have to change small things, but we will not change anything special for tomorrow’s game.”
“The most important thing for me is to make sure that the players know what they have to do. They need to do it properly tomorrow. It is a huge game for us, very important game, very important three points. We need to be at our best to finish the game and to stay with the three points.”
Chennaiyin FC are closing on Mumbai in the points table and Costa was asked whether he keeps a check on the other teams’ performances. The coach replied, “I look at the things that I can control. My job is my players and tomorrow’s game. There’s no reason for me to look at others and not look at the things that I must do. I must give my best; the players must give their best. We must win the game. Of course, after winning the game, you look at the others. But, the most important is to look at our job and our job is tomorrow’s game, to give our best and win three points.”
He addressed Jamshedpur’s playing style and his assessment of the team. The Portuguese stated, “I have been watching Jamshedpur from the start and it’s true that in the last games they are not winning. But, we must respect them. I don’t believe that they don’t believe, knowing that it is difficult, to finish in the top four.”
“They have good players, good foreigners. They have a good coach. Yes, we must take care of all this. But, the most important, as I said to you and as I say always, is the things that we must to do, respecting all the opponent teams like we have been doing since the beginning.”
Jorge Costa then pondered upon Sergio Lobera’s departure from FC Goa, considering Mumbai have an important game against the Gaurs in the coming week. He said, “My crucial game is tomorrow. This is the first thing. Tomorrow is the most important game of my life. After, we will have two more games. If you want me to say something about Lobera, I will say, he’s someone that I have known for more than one and a half years. He did a wonderful job in India.”
“He brings something extra to this league. I don’t know what happened. It was not in my house so I don’t know what happened. But I think we all must say a big thanks to Lobera for the things that brought in our league. I wish him of course the best in life and in work in the future,” Jorge Costa concluded.
Sourav Das and Subhasish Bose had picked up niggles in the previous game and hence had to be substituted. About the availability of his players for the upcoming match, Costa observed, “I think that they are fit for tomorrow’s game. Modou Sougou is suspended. It’s something that is now normal for us. The way that my players receive yellow cards is something that I am not happy with. But, it’s okay. Without Sougou, we have others and we are ready for the match.”
Mumbai lured in Keenan Almeida from Hyderabad FC to bolster their numbers in the defensive department towards the end of the winter transfer window. Jorge Costa had a few words about Almeida as he remarked, “To be honest, it will be difficult for him to win his place in the team. But, we think, that we still have six games until the end of the season and he will have his time to know the team, to know all the players, to know what I want. Maybe, he will have his opportunities, thinking we still have six games to play.”
Mohammed Rafique had slotted in as the right-back in the last match and Jorge Costa was quizzed whether he will look to continue with him in that position. Costa answered, “I have other options for his position. We lose Souvik (Chakabarti) and we lose Sarthak (Golui) for sure until the end of the season. So, Rafique, he has played before as a right-back, this is not the first time. I am hoping that he will have the same quality as the last game. He has experience, he has quality and he has one very good thing, his mentality. His commitment with the team is something that he’ll do everything I will ask him to do. He is a team player.”
Pratik was asked about his induction into the team following Mato Grgic’s injury very early on in the season. The player said, “Well, it was unfortunate at that time that he got injured, but again it was an opportunity for me to start and show myself. That’s what I did, I tried to do my job, tried to do what the coach wanted, tried to help my team.”
Talking about dealing with Jamshedpur’s dynamic forward line, he remarked, “Yes, they have very good strikers. They have a good team. We have prepared well, we have been preparing well throughout the week. For us, it’s just to go out there and do our job. Like I said before, tomorrow is like a final for us. There is no second thought about it. We will just have to go out there tomorrow and get the points.”
Sarthak Golui has been ruled out of the season, as declared by the head coach at the end of the previous game. Paulo Machado’s campaign has also come to a conclusion. Modou Sougou is out of this game due to suspension too.
Amrinder, Rafique, Pratik, Grgic, Subhasish, Borges, Sourav, Larbi, Diego Carlos, Kevyn, Chermiti.
Mumbai City FC and Jamshedpur FC have faced each other in five matches so far with the latter emerging victorious in three games whilst Mumbai City FC have won once. A sole match has concluded in a draw.
The game will commence from 7:30 PM IST on Thursday 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.