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ISL 2016: Alexandre Guimaraes says that injuries are his main concern ahead of the game against Delhi Dynamos


Alexandre Guimares is surprised by the young players in the ISL.

Alexandre Guimaraes
Guimaraes spoke positively about the Indian players in the ISL (Images courtesy of ISL)

Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes spoke to the press ahead of his side’s game against Delhi Dynamos, and he had a number of interesting things to say.

Mumbai are second on the ISL table with 7 points from 4 games and a victory will see them level on points with NorthEast at the top of the table.

Guimaraes has rotated his squad quite a bit during the tournament, especially the strikers. He elaborated on his decision, “We played with different striker combinations during pre-season. We are getting better. However, sometimes there are situations we don’t expect. Absence of players from injuries, and suspensions sometimes force us to rotate the squad. But this is football and we have managed the situation quite well.”

On tactics vs Delhi

Delhi Dynamos have sometimes struggled in the wide areas, and Mumbai may look to exploit this weakness in the upcoming game. Guimarães, when asked about this, said, “Due to the travelling involved, I have not extensively watched our opponents. Today, after practice I will watch the game in more detail, analyse the game more, and decide. They have  shown that they play attractive football, and I hope that tomorrow will be a very good game.”

The coach indicated that there would be few changes from the previous game, saying, “We are waiting on the report of the medical staff and physios. The players who have a lot of minutes, if they are feeling okay, we won’t make any drastic changes to the squad. Right now, it looks like they are doing okay, and the more rhythm they have, the better.”

On Chhetri playing for BFC 

The coach seemed to have no qualms about Sunil Chhetri playing for I-League side BFC in their AFC Cup semi-final clash.

“I was informed about this from the beginning. What is really concerning for us is injuries, and that situation is hurting us. I wish the best for Indian football, so I have to adapt to the players that I have,” said the Mumbai City FC coach.

Guimaraes’ opinion of Indian football

The Mumbai City FC coach was also asked about his opinion of Indian football and the ISL and he had some encouraging words to say.

“I am surprised. First of all, it is not easy to play in this League. The games have shown us that. Each team has a different style, which is very good for Indian football. We can learn from this. My players have shown good skills, discipline, and desire, and I am very pleased to be part of this intention of ISL to promote Indian football. The young players here are very good. And the preparation with the U17 side is very good, and that is how you have to develop,” said the former Costa Rican international.

Comparing his time in ISL with his experience in China, Guimarães said, “I feel that it is different. India is just starting their development with this intention to promote football like other countries. I think what you are doing is good, but it there is a big difference to what is there in China, where they also have the patience to know that it takes time.”

“I can say from my experience, that India has a really bright future. Everything is about the passion and desire of the players, and all the players have shown me that they have this.”

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