Mumbai FC travel to the Balewadi Stadium to face inter-city rivals DSK Shivajians FC for their last Hero I-League away fixture this season. Both clubs have had underwhelming campaigns, respectively, as one point separate DSK Shivajians (7th with 11 points) and Mumbai (10th with 10 points) right now.
“It is always a pleasure being here (in Pune) and it will be an exciting match,” said Santosh Kashyap, Head Coach of Mumbai. “I think, we are in the same boat. Both teams have struggled to get results, struggling to get a win,” added Kashyap.
Dave Rogers expressed his side’s season, “DSK Shivajians were a new team and we are in a period of transition to take the club forward in a different direction. I cannot criticise my players, I can’t. They are creating chances; we have dominated games we have played in, playing good attacking football. Apart from luck and killer instinct in front of goal, we would be much higher up the table.”
Mumbai has scored just eight times in the 13 matches so far; to which Santosh Kashyap said, “As I believe, every I-League club in India depends on foreigners to score the goals. So in our process, we got these players registered late, and I had to believe in Indian players.”
Steven Dias was announced to lead the Mumbai team before the start of the campaign. But an injury-hit season and lack of chances have left the veteran winger with an urge to prove him, again. “I have not played many matches, this year. I want to prove myself with the chances I will have,” said Steven Dias.”
On injuries and suspensions, Rogers highlighted the importance of Sasa Kolunjia to the side. DSK Shivajians manager appreciated the Serb’s performance against Aizawl during last Tuesday’s 1-0 loss.
Rogers added, “It is great to have Sasa back and Kim Seong-Yong’s injury is long-term. I will make the final decision on my starting XI only tomorrow.”
While Mumbai will be without Thoi Singh, who has not travelled with the side to Pune and is struggling with a knee injury. “Alex (William) has a groin injury. So will take a call today. Steven (Dias) is back,” said Kashyap.
“This is a derby game. I am looking forward to welcoming the side; it should be a good and entertaining game,” Rogers said. Meanwhile, Rogers spoke highly of the opposition manager Santosh Kashyap adding, he has “nothing but respect” for him.