ISL 2017: "No real rivalry with FC Pune City," says Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes ahead of Maharashtra derby
Mumbai City FC registered their first win of the ISL 2017 season in their last home match against FC Goa. The victory opened the account for the semifinalists from last season with the performance being a perfect dress rehearsal for the Maharashtra derby which is up next for the Islanders. Last season, Mumbai won their match at their rival's home turf and manager Alexandre Guimaraes is keen on repeating the feat on Wednesday.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, the Costa Rican played down the importance of the Maharashtra derby. Guimaraes said that the league would need some time before having proper rivalries on and off the field. The coach believed that the draft and the regular changes in the squad made it impossible for the players to grow a feeling of intense rivalry for any side in the competition.
Talking about the importance of a 2-1 win over the Gaurs, Guimaraes said, "It was a really important win for us. We now have three straight away games on a trot. Hence, we needed a win on our home ground to prepare ourselves in the best possible way for the three tough games on the road."
The Costa Rican revealed that the first win of the season was a confidence-boosting one and despite being in the stage of trying to understand the best XI for his side, he said that he was delighted by the levels shown by his players. Guimaraes reserved some praise for his Indian contingent, especially mentioning the good form of his number one keeper, Amrinder Singh.
On tomorrow's game, Mumbai City boss was cautious of the threat of the Pune side who are joint top scorers so far in the league with six goals. "Precision is the thing that has impressed me with Pune City's attackers. They have taken their chances and have finished them brilliantly. We have to try and not make any mistakes in our half to give away any chance to the opponents. This Pune side can punish you!" added Guimares.
Mumbai City had the best defence in the previous campaign but their backline has looked vulnerable until now. The Mumbai boss defended his players and said that this is a completely new defensive unit for the side after the draft. He requested for more time before judging Mumbai's defence as the 57-year-old suggested that it is difficult to maintain the same high levels with new personnel.