The Islanders could not overcome the Mariners for the first time in five meetings.

Mumbai City FC stuttered against ATK Mohun Bagan in a 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League 2021/22 on Thursday. Ahmed Jahouh was responsible for ATKMB’s opener, as he dwelled on the ball for too long near his box. David Williams capitalized on the loose ball and converted his opportunity. The Mariners conceded from a Pritam Kotal howler shortly afterward, as he turned Bipin Singh’s cross into his own net. Mumbai City’s coach Des Buckingham was happy with the way his team played, as he conveyed his opinions in the post-match conference.

Here’s what the Mumbai City head coach said:

Mumbai City FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan Match Highlights

Whether the result was a fair one?

Mumbai City were lucky to equalize with an own-goal, but were mostly on the back foot against ATK Mohun Bagan. Coach Des Buckingham was glad for his players’ resilience amidst COVID scares and the team’s result.

“I think I’m proud of the players. We’ve been locked in our rooms (since) four days before (the game against) NorthEast (United) all the way through till now, with limited training. I’m very proud of their work-rate and I think that we created enough to win the game. It wasn’t to be, but we have to get ready now for the next one,” said the Englishman.

If the winless run calls for deep introspection

Mumbai City started off their title defence in splendid fashion, as they got five wins out of six games. That form has since dwindled, as the Islanders have failed to get a win in their last seven games.  The 36-year-old reminded that teams should be evaluated by their finish and that they aim to conclude their season in a solid manner.

“I’ve always said; judge us at the end of the season. It’s not important where you are now. We’re still in a decent space, if you look at the points table. Where we sit, with seven games to play, it’s important that we finish. We’re certainly in a good position to finish as high as we can,” explained the coach.

Diego Mauricio & Lallianzuala Chhangte debuts

Newcomers Diego Mauricio and Lallianzuala Chhangte both made their debuts against ATK Mohun Bagan. The English coach was pleased with their performances, as he felt they showcased the qualities that Mumbai needed from them. 

“Yes, for Diego; (he has) done well. You know he hasn’t played for over a month, so it was always the plan to try and ease him in. That’s why he came off on 45 minutes because we need to build him up. Igor’s (Angulo) been away for a couple of days, so we’ve had to bring him back in as well. So, very pleased with those two. Vikram (Pratap Singh) played very well last week and bringing Chhangte in, he showed real good signs of why we brought him in,” Des Buckingham elaborated.

Was defensive recruitment in the January transfer window required?

Mumbai City invested in a midfielder, goalkeeper and two forwards in the January transfer window. Upon being asked whether he would have liked a defensive reinforcement, this is what Buckingham had to say.

“(Chuckles) I think it’s okay when you want something. But, making things like that happen can sometimes be difficult. I’m very happy with our recruitment through the January window and what we’ve brought in. Again, we’ll make sure that we have the same players we had at the start of the season. Tonight, they’ve shown good signs of that in the backline. So, we’re making sure we continue to work with them to tighten up that end, while also going back to scoring goals,” concluded the coach.

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