The Mumbai boss is aiming for all three points against Delhi…
Mumbai City FC need to avoid defeat against Delhi Dynamos FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday to finish the league stage of Hero Indian Super League 2016 as table-toppers. The Mumbaikars are enjoying their best season yet under the guidance of head coach Alexandre Guimaraes and go into the clash against Delhi at the summit of the table with 22 points from 13 games.
Speaking to the media at the pre-match press conference, Guimaraes made it clear that the emphasis will be on getting all three points against Delhi tomorrow. “We need to continue what we have been doing and we want to get maximum points tomorrow. That is the objective,” he said.
Guimaraes also spoke about how his players focused on recovery during their lengthy 10-day break since their last match against Chennaiyin FC. “We gave rest to players as we had planned and we just follow our programme. After the game against Chennai we gave the players a few days off as we had planned to give, and then we started our preparation for the game and let’s say 80-90% are fit to play and they have to play,” the Costa Rican said.
He added: “I am not going to rest any player tomorrow. It’s just that the players who are going to play must be 100% fit, and we hope that everything goes well tomorrow.”
Mumbai seem to have found their form in front of goal, scoring seven times in their last two matches but Guimaraes believes that both their attack and defence need to be credited for their form this year. “We have been doing well in both aspects, like we have been very offensive and we have also been defending well, so we have to continue with this kind of mentality and tomorrow we are going to try our best to play well in both departments of the game,” the 57-year-old said.
Mumbai head into the game having conceded eight goals all season making them the tightest defence in the league. Delhi, however, boast the best goal-scoring record in the league (27 goals). When asked if his side will manage to keep out Delhi’s deadly attack force, who will be without the services of their Brazilian star Marcelinho on account of a suspension, Guimaraes said: “I think it can be a very open game, like the one we played Delhi and like we saw last night [FC Goa vs Chennaiyin FC. When teams are liberated, then they can just play without any concerns and I hope we can tomorrow give our fans a good performance and a game which they can enjoy.”
Commenting on the number of combinations Mumbai have fielded this year and how they weren’t over-reliant on individuals, Guimaraes said: “What I am very pleased about is that no matter what combination we try the players try to understand and try to do their best. We have played in different situations and with different models and I think the players have done very well and I think it is very good for us as we can change in the game from one [model] to another and in today’s football this is very important.”
Report and Photo Courtesy: ISL Media