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ISL 2016 : FC Pune City's Arata Izumi says they are ready for Mumbai City FC challenge

Arata Izumi also commented on Gudjohnsen's injury.

Maharashtra derby is expected to be a blockbuster with both sides looking to start their season on a high

With FC Pune City's head coach Antonio Habas facing a touchline ban for the first game against Mumbai City, assistant coach Miguel was hopeful of his team's chances in Pune's pre-match press conference. Miguel said that the team is ready for the much awaited Maharashtra derby to kick-start their ISL 3 campaign. He and FC Pune City's new signing, Arata Izumi reflected on their team's preparation in the press conference.

Also Read: Atletico de Kolkata 2-2 Chennaiyin FC - Player Ratings

On the derby, Izumi said, "We are going to take one game at a time and are not getting carried away because of the extra pressure of the Derby." Habas and Azumi go a long way as the pair worked together during their time with Atletico de Kolkata.

Also Read: Mumbai City FC manager Alexandre Guimaraes impressed by team's Indian players ahead of first game 

On Habas' working style, the midfielder continued, "The most important part working with Habas is discipline as he is a tough taskmaster but we know that his methods will get us results."

Ahead of their first game, assistant manager, Miguel was pretty impressed by his team's preparation as he said, "We had a perfect record in our preseason games and we are 100% ready for out first game. Important thing is to find the right combination in our starting lineup as we did a major overhaul in the team ahead of the new season. Habas' absence will be felt in the dugout but the players are ready to give their all."

The Stallions received a huge blow ahead of the new season as their marquee player, Eidur Gudjohnsen suffered a season-ending injury. The assistant manager reflected on this as he said, "Eidur's absence will be felt but it's our responsibility that we play to our full potential."

Arata Izumi also commented on the Iceland player's injury, "This is the part and parcel of the game but we move forward and hope to start the season with a victory."

Both Miguel and Izumi stressed on the fact that Pune wants to start the new season with a bang by beating a strong Mumbai side led by the enigmatic Diego Forlan. Miguel said on the Uruguayan's challenge, "It's not Forlan vs Pune, it's Mumbai vs Pune as we will be ready for every challenge."

He was also pleased with the playing conditions at Pune's stadium as he praised with it being one of the best in India.

FC Pune City have announced Mohamed Sissoko as their new marquee signing who has arrived yesterday and will be available for selection tomorrow. The Maharashtra derby has always been an interesting contest with Pune winning the first game last season 3-1 at home and drawing the away leg 0-0.

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