ISL 2016: We are playing in a way that I haven't seen any other team play till now, says Guimaraes ahead of Chennaiyin clash
In the history of the Indian Super League, Mumbai City FC have never had a good time when they've come face-to-face with Chennaiyin FC. They have lost each of their encounters in the past two seasons, a couple of them very badly. This season, however, under new coach Alexandre Guimaraes and a new look squad, the team from Mumbai is doing rather well as they currently sit second in the table with 11 points.
Speaking to media ahead of the clash with Chennaiyin at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday, coach Guimaraes gave his thoughts ahead of the game.
“Every game is different. I can't say exactly what our chances are, but what I'm sure of is that our players are now more clear about the way we have to play no matter the opponents, no matter whether we are playing home or away. We are showing that game by game. Now I'm just waiting to see which players are available to play tomorrow, but i hope to have at least 80% of them available,” he stated.
Record doesn't matter
The record between the two sides, as far as Guimaraes is concerned, is a non-factor because of the changes.
“First of all, our squad is very different. I don't think I have any players who have a memory of those games (featured in those games), so it's a different situation. We know that we are going to play against the champions, who have good continuity (from season to season), more than us. But we are doing well and have to continue to do well from here,” he said.
Having played their last game on the 25th of October, a 1-0 win at Atletico de Kolkata, Mumbai City do have an advantage going into tomorrow's game against the hosts. Mumbai have had six days off while Chennaiyin had a game to play just three days ago.
“We used it to recharge our batteries. Everybody knows we have a tough schedule. So with 3-4 regular players injured, we have used the time for them to recover and also introduce some ideas for the second half (of the season),” said Guimaraes on how his squad have used the time off.
Mumbai City have been one of the most attractive sides to watch in the tournament so far, yet for all of their attacking flair, they've scored more than one goal only once in their seven games. Ironically, that game ended in a 3-3 draw. And that irony has not been lost on Guimaraes.
“No, the only game we scored more than one goal, we drew. So, it's not a comparison you can make. Also, the games where we scored one goal, most of them we won. Whenever we keep our goals to zero (goals conceded), we won. That is the mathematics I do.”
Happy with his side’s performances
He is pleased though with the kind of game his team is playing.
“Of course, like you said we are playing in a way that I haven't seen any other team play, till now. We are playing good, creating chances. Our game is a good game to watch, good game for the people to go to the stadiums to watch. So I think that's what the game is about and we are doing that.”
Diego Forlan, Mumbai’s marquee player for the season has scored two goals so far. He's not featured in a couple of games due to some niggles, but Guimaraes says he's on track.
“He is doing very well. When he plays, usually we win. When he plays, usually he scores. When he plays, the other team has more worries, which is good for us and when he plays, the TV ratings are high. When he plays the rest of the players in the team feel more joy. What more can you ask from your marquee player!”
As for the situation with Bengaluru FC, where four of Mumbai's players are tied up with duty there as Bengaluru prepare to play the AFC Cup final on November 5th, Guimaraes said it was a situation they knew about from the beginning and also how special the situation was.
“From day one, we knew the situation with the Bengaluru players. Now they have a chance to win a championship for India. Not just for their city and for those players, but for India. We are very excited for them.”