Mumbai City's season might be done, but they do have one final game left to play in the league phase of season four of the ISL. They take on Chennaiyin FC in Chennai on Saturday night in what will be the final league game for both teams.
Mumbai's campaign ended after their previous encounter, where they suffered a crushing 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Delhi Dynamos.
Speaking to media ahead of Saturday's game, Mumbai City coach Alexandre Guimaraes says his team will look to end their campaign with a win.
"We didn't lose our perspective in terms of playing the last game with all the resources available to us," said Guimaraes. "So I will put the best players available tomorrow to play because we have lots of situations and injuries. Let's see who is really available tomorrow and then we'll try to win the game. If we win tomorrow we can finish in 6th place which considering all the situations that happened to us, it will be a place that we can be satisfied with."
For Guimaraes, this was a second successive season with the Mumbai team. He is the only coach to continue this year as coach from last season amongst all teams. He felt that while this season the team didn't make the playoffs, the organisation's objectives with regards to football were achieved somewhat.
"This season I've been saying that Mumbai City as an organisation is trying to show what they are doing with football. So after two seasons now I think Mumbai City have earned the respect. Everybody knows what's going on. That we play every game with all the resources we have and try to win."
He also stressed that the team being in contention for a semi-final spot right until the final week was noteworthy: "We have been competing, this is also very important, till the last week of the tournament to get a spot in the playoffs. This is very important for the development of the organisation. Now it's just a matter of seeing what the organisation wants after we finish our game tomorrow and then we start to plan for that."
When asked where he thought Mumbai City's season was lost, the Costa Rican coach said it came down to two things mainly - player availability and a lack of momentum.
"I think we have had many situations compared to other teams. All the teams have had their own circumstances, but for us till the first game we had a big disadvantage as we didn't have the eight foreigners available from the first game," said Guimaraes. "In a year by year very competitive ISL, this can hurt a team very much like it hurt us."
"Then, of course, I think the teams that are now in the top four or rather the ones who are going to make the playoffs, they have won three games in a row (during the season). For some reason or the other, we didn't make it. When you win three games in a row like they have done and like we did last season, when you get these nine points continuously, it can make you a little bit calmer and help you plan for everything. We didn't do that and that also hurt us very much," he went on to add.
While their ISL journey is done after Saturday, Mumbai City do have one more tournament to play in the new Super Cup which will take place after the conclusion of the ISL. Guimaraes though feels that more clarity is needed before his team start their preparations for that tournament.
"Well, first of all, we need to know the way the tournament will be played. Specific dates, how many foreigners will they allow to play - they will have to provide these regulations. Then I will have to have a meeting with my CEO to see what would be our direction. So I cannot say right now that will do this or that. First, the situation about the tournament must become clear," concluded Guimaraes.Published 03 Mar 2018, 18:58 IST