ISL 2016: I am proud of my players and regret nothing, says Mumbai City FC coach, Alexandre Guimaraes
Mumbai City FC’s 2016 Indian Super League campaign finished on a drab note, as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home. Needing no less than a win against Atlético de Kolkata in the second leg, the home side found it arduous creating chances from open play.
Apart from Sunil Chhetri’s early shot which was expertly parried away by the keeper, Mumbai failed to trouble Kolkata’s defence, who looked at ease all night long. Mumbai’s coach, Alexandre Guimaraes spoke to the media after the match and had only positive words for his players.
“We had a fantastic season. Before the Delhi game, we had the possibility to choose our opponents. But I told the players, we must always play to win. For Mumbai, this is fantastic, after two seasons, to have the experience of playing a semi-final.”
“To involve our fans in this kind of atmosphere. I am very proud of my players and regret nothing. We had a very tough rival, that knows how to play a semi-final. That’s why they’re here three times. This is a learning process,” he said.
Additions needed next season
Asked if his side missed Forlan on the night, Guimaraes explained,”Maybe in the crucial moments, Forlan could have helped the players to be a little bit more composed. He’s an intimidating player for the rivals.”
The home side looked devoid of ideas in the final third and the Costa Rican revealed that he would speak to the CEO about making additions to the squad for next season.
“This is something that the club has to learn for next season. We had our situations with an injury to Gaston in pre-season. We have to analyse what we have to do, the kind of weapon we need to open up the opposition. I’ll talk about this to my boss,” the coach added.
Guimaraes does a Wenger
Guimaraes was tight-lipped about the post-match brawl that ensued on the pitch, “This is a semi-final. Players play at their maximum. I didn’t see what happened. I was trying to get some players out but I didn’t see it,” he stated.
The coach refused to blame Sunil Chhetri, who missed a glorious opportunity to give his side an early lead, “When he arrived from Bangalore, he immediately was on the same page with the other players. It happens in football.”
“The other day, Jamie Vardy from Leicester City F.C. went three months without scoring. Then all of a sudden, he scored a hat trick. This is the life of a number 9. He has helped us reach the semi-finals. I have nothing to say to him,” he signed off.