The Mumbai boss met the press ahead of his team’s clash with the highflying Highlanders…

Mumbai City FC will look to build on their opening win against arch-rivals FC Pune City in the Maha Derby when they host NorthEast United at the Mumbai Football Arena on friday.

Speaking to the media early today manager Alexandre Guimaraes said it was important for the team to get off to a winning start and beating a strong team like FC Pune City gave the side confidence. However, he added that the game was now in the past and his side were focused on tomorrow’s contest against NEUFC.

When asked about whether he had spotted any chinks in NorthEast United’s armour ahead of the game, the Costa Rican said, “In this kind of league where you don’t have much time to prepare, what matters to me is the credibility of the players. They have a very good team and they deserved to win their first two games. What they do they do very well. This will make us play even harder to see how we can manage to win.”

Mumbai’s potency in attack gave them the edge over Pune in their first encounter and the coach said he was also happy with the overall performance. In the first 20 minutes against the Stallions the Mumbai side looked a bit shaky and although he conceded the fact Guimaraes said he was impressed with the way his players grew into the game.

The Mumbai boss concurred with the assertion that marquee and captain Diego Forlan was going to be a marked man throughout the season and said his team were working on finding alternate solutions in terms of goalscorers to lift the burden off the Uruguayan. However, he pointed out that in this respect the loss of Gaston Sangoy due to injury and the absence of Sony Norde through international duty was a big blow. He also lauded the former Atletico Madrid star’s leadership qualities saying that his influence abd interaction within the group was growing day-by-day as he starts to feel more at home in the team.

The Mumbaikars played their home games at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in the previous two seasons and will now move to the MFA for this campaign. Commenting on the change of venue the manager said, “We are very happy to play at home. You always prefer to play in a smaller stadium, but full, rather than play in 50,000-60,000 stadium with empty seats. We want to give a good performance because it is important to get our fans involved. They have to recognize that we have a team that is going to fight to make a better season.”

Guimaraes also confirmed that Jackichand Singh who came off the bench in the last game was recovering from a previous knock. However, he is now fully fit and ready to start if needed.

The manager was accompanied by last time’s match-winner in Matias Defederico who said that although it was a nice feeling to score, it was more important that team won.

Photo : ISL Media

Report by Khel Now-Content Editor Mrunal Nakashe. A sports buff, he’s also a foreign policy enthusiast and keen North Korea watcher. Mrunal loves gaming, reading, traveling and is a self-confessed Football Manager addict. You can follow him on Twitter.