Mumbai City won the season’s first Maha Derby by edging out Pune…
A delighted Alexandre Guimaraes greeted the press after his Mumbai City FC team won its first match of the season, by a single goal. Matias Defederico was the goalscorer for the Mumbaikars.
The gaffer aptly pointed out the various situations he faced regarding personnel upfront. “I mean the3-4 days before there was the injury to our forward Gaston. Sony had to go to the Haiti national team. We also have the situation with the guys from Bengaluru, so in just 5 days we had to think a lot but I also think that the players showed tremendous credibility in our work. They showed discipline to wait. They understood the way we have to play against a good team, a well worked team.”
Mumbai are hoping Haitian Sony Norde will be back by the time they play their third fixture of the season.
The 57-year-old was quizzed on his marquee player, Diego Forlan’s performance, in which he grabbed an assist with a neat back heel flip to set up Defederico. “He (Forlan) did what we wanted. He moved the way we wanted him to move when he plays as a No. 9, when he moves of course he gets too much distraction, so we have to profit there. The other players game by game will find him in a much better way for him to show his capacity in attack.”
The Costa Rican was happy with the performance. When asked whether he felt the result was a perfect one, he replied, “Yes, of course, the start of a tournament is always difficult, because like you saw we have to manage different situations in our squad.”
The former Costa Rica coach said, “So we keep working during the game but the result is very good as a start but there is a long way, it is only the start.”
Guimaraes though is not one to rest on his laurels. He quickly reiterated that there is room for improvement, stating, “Of course we have to improve, but we managed after 20-25 minutes, we found our game and the space for our players to perform. In defence we have to be much more alert to not allow the counter-attacks they made and they made well but our goalkeeper did fantastic.” He continued, “We have to be strong in our defensive organization, and with the players we have in front it’s a matter to wait.”
Mumbai now head home for a game against NorthEast United on Friday and until then, the coach’s instruction to his players will be of recuperating, recovering, resting, eating well and making adjustments, because now he hopes for them to start playing ‘the way we want to play in the tournament.’
For now, though, Mumbai can be delighted knowing they have beaten their opening day blues by defeating their Maharashtrian rivals Pune.
Report by Khel Now Correspondent from Pune Miqdad Haider.