The Media Day in Mumbai saw Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City, FC Goa and Mumbai City head coaches and players talking to the press.
The Indian Super League (ISL) Media Day- Mumbai was held at the Trident Hotel in the city on Monday. Head coaches and key players from FC Goa, FC Pune City, Mumbai City and Delhi Dynamos interacted with the assembled media ahead of the new campaign.
In the absence of FC Goa’s head coach Sergio Lobera, the newly-appointed assistant coach Jesus Tato spoke about the things they need to improve for the coming season. “Last season was great. You know we have to improve some things, but the most important thing is to keep playing the same football. Last season we scored a lot of goals, but conceded many too. This season we look to improve our game defensively.”
The former FC Pune City striker looked very excited about taking the new role of assistant coach of the Gaurs. “So my role is changed. I worked with Sergio Lobera for 3-4 years in the past. I thank FC Goa for giving me this opportunity. My role is different now, but it is fun. I am here to enjoy the game.” added Tato.
Last season’s top scorer Ferran Corominas shed some light on the challenge he expects this season and also spoke about him and Manuel Lanzarote not being together. “Its definitely not not an easy league. The way we played last year we created a lot of chances that’s why we scored a lot of goals. It is going to be difficult to score so many goals this season, but we are confident. Even if Lanza is not there we will be fine. We have players and we will do better. It is not always that one has to score goals, we need to play as a whole team.” said Corominas.
The newly-appointed captain of the Gaurs, Mandar Rao Desai spoke about how he is going to handle the additional pressure of captaincy. “I am happy to be part of FC Goa. All the senior and foreign players have helped me a lot. Obviously, every player who plays in front wants to score. I will try my best and work hard to score goals this season.
I think all the players are captains. They know their duty and they will help me so it is easier.” added Desai.
Portugal revealed he’s content with FC Pune City’s quality ahead of the new ISL season
Pune City’s new coach Miguel Angel Portugal seemed happy with the squad he has at his disposal. Speaking about how he was feeling after joining Pune the coach said, “For me, it is a new challenge. I thank Delhi. I was very happy in Delhi. But, now I am in Pune and I will try to improve them and improve their ranks.
I have very much confidence in Pune City. We have very good players. We will try to improve from where (Ranko) Popovic left. I have confidence in my philosophy. We have good young players and we have a very good experienced player too.”
Emiliano Alfaro, the top scorer for Pune last season emphasized that they will play as a team and will not depend on one single player. “First of all, we are a team and we have to play like a team. It is not important to score goals, but to understand the philosophy of the coach. If we play as a team we will get more success and that is what we will try this season.”
The striker gave a cheeky reply when he was questioned about how he and the coach communicate, since they both speak different languages. “Because football is only one language. We are a team. So, there is no problem in understanding each other.”
The new gaffer of Delhi Dynamos Joseph Gombau was excited about the quality of youngsters he has in his side and is looking forward to some great performances from them. “Yes, I like to work with young people. I am very happy with the squad I have. We will work hard this week and will play well from next week. It is a new season and it is important to start from zero. We saw each other today (Miguel Portugal) we had a chat and I wish him all the best.”
Marcos Tebar, who spent ISL 2016 with the Dynamos is again back in their outfit. The Spaniard was very excited about returning to the Delhi side and also spoke about the other offers he had on the table.
Newly-appointed Dynamos coach Josep Gombau said he’s “very happy” with the Lions’ squad
“I was close to signing for Jamshedpur, I had offers from a few European clubs too. Then the coach called me and I joined Delhi. I had good memories from the previous stint and I wanted to come back here. We have a lot of young players. They are really hungry and they want to improve every day and I will help in every possible way.” said the Spanish midfielder.
“It was a great experience and as a young player, you need matches and I got those. I am very happy. I am not a star yet, but I am always training hard and improving every day. Marcos is an example for me and I always look at him and learn from him.” said India international Vinit Rai when questioned about last season and who is his role model in the current squad.
Finally, the home team, Mumbai City FC interacted with the media, starting with new coach Jorge Costa. The former captain of FC Porto and a Champions League winner seemed eager to take on this new challenge.
When questioned about why he chose Mumbai City Costa answered, “Because this is my life. I like taking on new challenges. I worked in Europe and Africa and this is my first time in Asia. This is a very good challenge for me. This is a new season. New coach and some new players. We will start from the beginning. We are on the right ways to do good things. We must respect the public. Sometimes we cannot play as we want. We need to fight for every point and want to finish in the top four.”
Mumbai gaffer Jorge Costa revealed that the top four is the aim for him this season
The Portuguese seems to be liking Mumbai a lot as he said, “It is a different city with a lot of people and a lot of traffic. We didn’t have many days to see the city. Football is my life and I also like to enjoy my personal life.”
The captain of Mumbai for the last two seasons Lucian Goian shed light on what went wrong for his side last term and what he is looking to improve this campaign, “I am happy to be in Mumbai. It was a pleasure for me to come back. We are confident that we have an interesting season in front. We will show in the first game that we are ready to put a great show.
Something was missing. Maybe the group was not so strong. We had good players and in some moments we were unlucky, but if we had some more attitude, things would have been different. For the new players, we put them in contact with the Indian style of playing. It was not difficult to understand. We are professionals and we have to adapt quickly. We have to play as a team and we are looking forward to a great season.”