'I can't help people if they don't want help', Jorge Costa opens up on the refereeing in the match against ATK | ISL 2019-20
In the dying moments of the encounter against ATK, Mumbai City FC were denied a couple of gilt-edged opportunities. As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Serge Kevyn somehow nodded wide from inside the six-yard box while Modou Sougou was denied by the upright.
Unsurprisingly, that also embodied the Islanders’ second-half performance, a display wherein they did everything apart from making the net ripple. After the game, Jorge Costa too echoed similar sentiments, saying,
I am very proud of my boys and the way we played in the second half. It was not a fair result as we created so many opportunities and we had chances to create a different result. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t do it.
However, for the opening quarter of the contest, Mumbai clearly cast themselves into the ascendancy, courtesy a brand of slick football. Remarking on that, the Portuguese said,
We started the game really well. But, then one individual mistake and we conceded a goal. Then, we conceded another after a few minutes but we improved in the second half.
As the game got stretched, tempers flared across the pitch with the players and even Costa indulging in a bit of hot-tempered debate. Inevitably, the latter was brandished a yellow card by the referee, meaning that he would be in the stands, rather than on the touch-line for Mumbai’s next game against Odisha FC on the 11th of January. On the incident that earned him a booking, he remarked,
In that situation, I tried to help the referee. And, I am that kind of person who likes to help whoever wants my help. But, I can’t help if people don’t want my help. That’s all I have to say. I tried to help the referee there but all he did was issue me a yellow card.
However, the coach refused to be drawn into the narrative of Mumbai slipping down the downward spiral that they had seemingly overcome before the end of 2019. He maintained that he retained belief in his players and that the Islanders would finish in the position that their performances warrant.
It is my job to fix these problems and sometimes, players make mistakes and I try to make them understand their errors. And, it is my job to make them better and help the team.
Thus, despite the defeat to ATK, Costa stressed on the good things that they had achieved and build from those aspects.
So far, Mumbai have rarely taken two steps back in succession, although one could point to their consecutive home defeats at the start of the term. Yet, with the competition entering its business end, they would want to buck that trend, especially considering the packed fixture list lying ahead.
And, that, could end up defining where the Islanders finish come the end of the group stages.Modified 04 Jan 2020, 22:44 IST