ISL 2016: What we have done is not easy at all, says Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes
Mumbai City FC became the first team to qualify for the 2016 Indian Super League semi-finals. The men in blue secured a convincing 2-0 victory over Chennaiyin FC on Wednesday and took their points tally to 22 with one game still left to play.
Speaking to the media after the game, coach, Alexandre Guimaraes was thoroughly satisfied with his team’s performance: “Another clean sheet, we have players that are getting better and better. Of course, we are very optimistic about what’s next. What we have done is not easy at all. What we have to fight for in the future is going to be much more harder.”
“We can now watch the other teams who have the possibility to qualify. We can study and analyse them. Then we also have to see which position we finish the league because that also will reveal if we’re going to play the first or second game at home,” he added.
Mumbai’s star man, Sunil Chhetri suffered a knock after clashing with Bernard Mendy in the second half and the striker was seen limping in the final ten minutes of the match but the coach assured the fans that all is well and there is nothing to be worried about.
“No, he suffered a bad kick when he tried to shoot. This guy is a warrior and he will be ready for the next game. He is working very hard. From the first day he arrived, he was willing to help the team and he’s doing just great,” Guimaraes said.
After playing 3 games in 7 days, Mumbai now have a 10-day gap before their next match against second placed, Delhi Dynamos. The Mumbai City FC coach said that this lengthy break will in no way impact the team’s mental attitude, “No, I don’t think so. Sometimes you lose this state of mind when you are away. But we live all together in the same place. Every day we communicate so it’s not possible that we will lose our mental strength,” he explained.
Sony Norde once again had to settle for a place on the bench with the in-form Cafu taking his place. The coach said that competition for places in the starting eleven is a headache that he will always welcome.
“Look when you have this kind of competition between players, it’s the best. They know that the ones that are playing are doing well. From the beginning of the pre-season, I knew that everyone wants to fight for a position.”
“Reaching the semi-finals is great. When you have depth in your bench, the coaches always want this,” he added.
The Costa Rican refused to reveal his team’s celebration plans, having entered the semi-finals for the first time ever, “I don’t know the players. We’re going to have a meeting in my room with my staff and off course,” he signed off cryptically.
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