Mumbai City FC will play their first home match of the season against an in form NorthEast United on Friday. The visitors won their opening two games and have not conceded a single goal in either of those matches.
Mumbai, on the other hand, played out a hard fought victory against their Maharashtra rivals, Pune City. Mumbai’s head coach, Alexandre Guimaraes was happy with how they began the tournament.
“We won against a very good team. It’s good to win your first game against a very tough team. Because what I have heard is that Pune is one of the contenders for the title this season. The confidence grows and that’s what it’s all about”, he said.
Asked about what his team needs to be aware of against the visitors, the coach explained that the schedule of the Indian Super League doesn’t let him prepare too deeply for every match.
“What is interesting from my point of view is that every game here in this short tournament, we have no time to prepare too many things. What is important is the credibility of the players we have. NorthEast United deserved to win their first two games. It will motivate us to play harder. What they do, they do very well”, emphasized the coach.
The coach is also confident that the team will gel better with Diego Forlan as the tournament progresses, “Our first match was a reference. The team played with Forlan for the first time. So they now understand better his movements on the pitch. This will help the team improve in offense”, he said.
Having already played and won two games, NorthEast United seem to be playing a cohesive brand of football. While Mumbai struggled in the initial parts of their opening game against Pune. But the coach believes they will do well despite the lack of playing time.
“Well, of course, they have continuity and it helps them in synchronization. I agree that in the first 20 minutes we didn’t have the right spaces to move. We were a little bit nervous but this is normal. The important thing is how we react and we reacted very well”, he pointed out.
Mumbai’s marquee signing Forlan is on the wrong side of his thirties. With games coming in thick and fast, his impact on the pitch may well suffer as a result and the Coach is already looking for different options.
“We’re trying to find solutions in offence. Forlan shouldn’t have all the responsibility to score goals. The injury to Gaston (Argentine forward) is very bad for us. He was our top scorer in the pre-season. Sony Norde is also missing for us. But I think we’ll manage well and tomorrow will be another test to improve in this area”, he concluded.