ISL 2016: Mumbai City FC manager Alexandre Guimaraes impressed by team's Indian players ahead of first game
After failing to qualify for the semifinals in the past two seasons, Mumbai City FC under new coach Alexandre Guimaraes, are expectant of a good season who took his country, Costa Rica to two World Cups. Guimaraes along with new signing, Jackichand Singh were talking in a pre-match press conference about their team's chances this season and also on their new marquee player, Diego Forlan.
The manager stressed on team spirit ahead of the Maharashtra derby as he said, “The team is ready for Pune as we had a long time together as a squad and had some good preseason games. Everyone wants to play after a brilliant opening ceremony as the squad is hungry to achieve success this time around.”
He also said that the whole squad is fit and raring to go with Mumbai undergoing a major overhaul this season.
Jackichand Singh, the talented Indian forward plied his trade with Pune last season but has been transferred to their rivals for the third edition. On his move to Mumbai, the youngster quipped, "Though Pune is close to my heart, I am going to give my 100% to Mumbai as it is very important to start the new season with a victory."
He also said that this is how the life of a football is about his move to Pune's direct rival.
Guimaraes also praised the quality of local Indian talents at his disposal this season as he said, "I was surprised by the desire, discipline and commitment of the Indian players and my aim will be to help them to achieve our collective goal to be successful this season."
The Costa Rican also talked about the challenges he faced in building a new team from day one but now insisted that he is happy with the current squad and said that the team has a good mix of youth and experience.
When asked about the experience of playing with a player of Diego Forlan's stature, Jackichand Singh said, "I have really enjoyed playing with such a huge player and he has always helped the youngsters whenever needed. He tells when we make a mistake and he helped me a lot during our Dubai tour." On this question, the manager quickly remarked that the 2010 World Cup highest scorer, Diego Forlan highly rates Jackichand.
FC Pune City have been strong at home with the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Shivaji stadium being a fortress for the Stallions in the past seasons. Mumbai City have their work cut out against a strong Pune City and will look to avenge last season's 3-1 loss at this stadium.