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Guimaraes wants defensive solidity, Coppell eyes three points

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The two teams faceoff in a game that could make or break their quest for a top four place.

Mumbai City FC host Jamshedpur FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday in the Indian Super League (ISL). The Islanders come off the back of a thrilling 4-3 win over FC Goa in their last encounter but have tasted defeat in their previous two home matches. Mumbai’s head coach Alexandre Guimaraes, while addressing the media, admitted that they had a good win at Goa, the match was now behind them.

“Yes, we had a good game there (in Goa),” the Costa Rican began. “We took the result that we fought for, and that gives us a possibility of being in the top four. But that game is now past. Maybe it was the best game so far with so many things involved. It is a game that the ISL needs to promote football. But I am completely sure tomorrow will be a completely different ball game.”

The 58-year-old also shared as to what he expected from the encounter against Jamshedpur, and what he plans for the same.

“I think tomorrow will be a game where both teams will be competitive,” he inferred. “So, in these types of games, you have to go into every detail and that will make the difference. But, they are not a team that concedes too many chances. We have to convert the ones that we get. Our defence has to be very alert, because in the last few games, they (Jamshedpur FC) have changed their approach in terms of constructing the game. So, this is a tough game that we will have.”

The Islanders’ defence has been a problem of late, leaking goals, but Guimaraes was upbeat regarding the clash.

“You have to see how the other teams have scored against you,” he remarked. “In the last game, we did not pay attention to the little things. But we were at a stage where we had to take risks, and that sometimes makes you vulnerable. If we convert our opportunities, we should not have a problem.”

Before concluding, he also responded to the concerns regarding Mumbai’s recent poor run at home. “We have discussed with the players what we did not do well in those two matches and what we have done during the matches we have won,” Guimaraes explained. “So, I hope that tomorrow we can get these situations clear and get a good result here, which is our first priority.”


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Prior to the match, Jamshedpur’s head coach Steve Coppell spoke to the media and started by mentioning that he expects a competitive match at Mumbai, one which his team will have to be wary of.

“We had a great game just three weeks ago; 2-2 in Jamshedpur,” he stated. “It was a really good game. Both sides wanted to win the game. The same will be true tomorrow. You win games by scoring goals. Mumbai will be looking to play the same way, whatever the circumstances. They will be looking to score goals; the creation up front, and similarly we will look to deal with what Mumbai have to offer and hopefully, (we will) come through ourselves and create problems.”

He also explained the objectives for his team for the upcoming fixture

“At the moment, our intentions are to go out and try and take the three points,” the 62-year-old revealed. “Maybe, during the course of the game, there might be occasions where we say things are going right, things are not going right, let’s protect what we got. But certainly, at the moment, our intentions are to come here and be as open and attacking as we can be to win the game.”

The former Manchester United winger went on to highlight the importance of maintaining clean sheets in a game, while hoping that his team’s attackers were up to their tasks as well.

“Our season has been fairly constant all the time,” Coppell inferred. “We started off the season with a lot of clean sheets and not many goals, and now we are scoring more goals but struggling to find clean sheets. And for me, personally, I’d prefer having a clean sheet. All coaches take satisfaction out of getting clean sheets. For any game, that is our priority. Scoring goals is more of individual creations. So, I hope my creative players are at their best tomorrow because they will need to be. Mumbai are a good side; they are very, very resilient. To come back and beat Goa was an outstanding performance.”

Before wrapping up, Coppell offered some good news on the injury front. “We have a few knocks but nothing that will stop anyone from playing tomorrow’s match. Everybody in the squad is training, so no problems,” he concluded.

Published: Thu Feb 01, 2018 03:15 PM IST

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