The Mumbai boss spoke to the media after his team’s first defeat against Kerala Blasters…

Mumbai City FC head coach Alexandre Guimaraes suffered his first defeat of the 2016 Hero Indian Super League at the hands of Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Friday evening. Marquee player Diego Forlan (injury) and defensive midfielder Pronay Halder (red card) couldn’t feature in the match and when asked in the post-match press conference if the team missed their services, Guimaraes replied in the affirmative but said his team needed to move on from the defeat quickly.

“You got to understand that in this situation you got to make some adjustments like we did, so I took a chance to make the first eleven with players who played there in Dubai in the pre-season but in the first half we didn’t have the touch. We lost too many balls and we didn’t create many chances and they profited from this,” the Costa Rican gaffer told reporters.

He continued: “Then during the half time, we made some adjustments and I think we came back better in the second half and even better in the last twenty-five minutes where we also had our chances but now in four days we have Delhi there. We have to watch tomorrow and the day after as to who recovers and who all we have. I mean Diego is injured, Boithang [Haokip] also felt a little heavy, something with his leg but we have to manage.”

However, Guimaraes dismissed a suggestion that Kerala Blasters’ defence had an easy day against Mumbai’s attackers. “I don’t think they had an easy day. In the first half yes they were at ease but in the second half I don’t think so,” he said.

Guimaraes didn’t start Sena Ralte today despite the left-back’s good performance in the 1-1 draw against Atlético de Kolkata. He explained his decision. “We have started rotating some players especially in our defensive department because we need them fresh and Ralte has been doing very well I agree but if I continue to push him, then there can be some damage, so Facundo Cardozo played and did very well. Now we had the opportunity to rest Ralte a little bit and have him ready for Delhi,” he said.

Mumbai looked solid in their previous three matches against FC Pune City, NorthEast United and ATK but on Friday evening they were a flickering shadow of their former selves. Guimaraes had no hesitation admitting that.

“We didn’t have the passing accuracy like the last three games which were very good but it didn’t happen today and we didn’t have the coordination in passing and it hurt us as we came here to win the game but our movements in the second half shows that even though they scored we came here to win the game.”

Guimaraes also hoped that Forlan will be back in the playing XI when Mumbai host FC Goa on October 21. “I think he should be back once we get back to Mumbai for the game against Goa,” he said.

Report and Photo Courtesy: ISL Media