The Spaniard is keen for his team to continue the winning momentum…

FC Pune City will be hoping for back-to-back wins in Hero Indian Super League 2016 when they play Mumbai City FC in the second Maharashtra derby of the season at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. The Stallions head into the game on the back of their first home win of Hero ISL 2016 against Atlético de Kolkata and currently occupy seventh spot in the table with nine points from eight games. Pune lost the first derby of the year to Mumbai with Matias Defederico’s 68th-minute strike proving to be the difference.

Speaking to the media ahead of Thursday’s clash, Pune head coach Antonio Habas opined that a lot has changed between now and then, especially in the wake of their 2-1 victory against Atlético de Kolkata in their last match. “After the match [against ATK] our group is a good group… The players are ready and after the game against ATK, the group is fantastic and we know Mumbai beat us in the first match in Pune, so we will try to beat them tomorrow. We know it is difficult but we will try,” said Habas.

Elaborating on his side’s performance against Kolkata that saw the Stallions edge Habas’ former side, the 59-year-old said: “That is my style and my team needs to adapt, so we will try to find a balance between defence and attack. Since we want to win, we need to score more. And my style is to keep running up and down, we need to keep the balance and it is not good if one team is scoring a lot of goals and conceding a lot of goals. It is important to dominate defence and attack.”

Pune have scored seven times in their eight matches so far raising concerns over their frontline. Answering a question about his side’s over-reliance on set-pieces, the Spaniard said: “Except Delhi, the other teams’ scores have been 1-1, 1-0 or 2-1, so the scores have been very similar. I think all the teams have similar problems and we will try to improve but it is a very competitive league and it is very difficult for our strikers to score.”

Habas also provided an injury update on his squad and ruled out two key midfielders from the second derby of the season. “We have two injuries in Arata [Izumi] and Pitu [Comadevall] and the rest of the team is fit for the game,” he said.

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