The new Mumbai boss spoke ahead of his ISL debut against FC Pune City…

Before his first game as coach in the Indian Super League, Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes gave his thoughts about the season opener.

Speaking on the preparations of his side, he said, “We are ready. We are prepared. After a long period of practice, everyone wants to play. That includes star player Diego Forlan. We have been practicing since day one when we arrived in Dubai. He (Forlan) feels okay, the team feels okay. Now it’s play time.” The Costa Rican also mentioned the opening ceremony.

Even in terms of personnel, Guimaraes reported good news, stating that there have been no new injuries so the only players missing the game will be the already injured players and the players still out on duty with Bengaluru FC. He said the players available are ready to play.

The ex Costa Rican manager was questioned on the quality of the Pune side at home. He replied,“We know that here, they are a very strong team. They are a team like us, having made a lot of changes. We both have the same ideas.” He also praised the ‘wonderful’ condition of the pitch at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.

The 57-year-old was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the local players and said, “Very good. They really surprised me, about their desire, discipline, commitment to be in this team, to be better and to help the team achieve the goal. The local guys mix well with the foreigners, I’m happy with them.”

Accompanying him at the press conference, was Indian youngster Jackichand Singh, who talked about playing against his former club FC Pune City and Diego Forlan.

On FC Pune City he said, “It’s our first match, we’ll try our best to win. It happens in a player’s life; last year Pune, this year Mumbai. I’ll give my 100% wherever I’ll be playing.”

Speaking on the opportunity of playing with the legend Forlan, he stated, “Till now, we practiced in Dubai and here, any mistake that we make he(Forlan) helps us with it. He doesn’t talk a lot but he tells us about our mistakes.”

Alexandre Guimaraes and Jackichand Singh take Mumbai City FC into the third season of the Indian Super League hoping for better fortunes than their predecessors.