Mumbai City FC head coach Jorge Costa addressed the media ahead of their last Indian Super League home encounter of 2019 against Hyderabad FC. Although the Islanders have a better away record than home, the Portuguese tactician doesn't think it makes much of a difference for him.
"For me, it's the same, playing home or away. We must play the same. So, I don't see things like that. We had a lot of physical problems. We lost 7 important points owing to mistakes. Then, we played good again. We lost at least 6 points in the last minute because of our mistakes. If we had a little bit of luck, we would have been in another position in the table."
After staying winless for six games, Mumbai City FC won back-to-back encounters against Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC on the road. However, Jorge Costa believes his teams should have had more points and are not understanding bottom-placed Hyderabad FC.
"In the last 2 games, we played good. We worked hard as a family. But, in my opinion, we deserve more points. They must understand, and we must understand this is not enough. In the same way, tomorrow's opponent doesn't deserve to be in the place they are sitting in. They have some very good players, especially foreign players, and a very good coach. So, we must respect them."
Jorge Costa's Mumbai City FC side out-foxed Bengaluru FC in their 3-2 win despite seeing less of the ball. However, he maintains that his overall style of play is the same but there are some minor tweaks opponents-wise.
"We have our way to play. And, a good thing about my team is that they don't think they are better than the others. So we respect others. We don't change our way to play. But, depending on the other team we change some things. Similarly, they do some things which I don't tell them to do but the game asks. I am very happy that they can do so by understanding the game."
Mumbai City FC has 12 different goalscorers in their ranks this season, a record Jorge Costa is proud of. But, he doesn't want to stop there. He wants more players to get their name on the scoresheet.
"I hope that tomorrow we can join one or two more. Another advantage is that it is not good for other teams because we can score from different situations like counter-attacks and set-pieces. I am happy to see twelve players scoring. I am saying from the beginning that I have 25 players, not 11 and I am happy with all of them."
Hyderabad FC hasn't picked up a single clean sheet in their nine matches. When asked if that can prove to be an advantage, Jorge Costa replied that he took into account that factor but his team is not overconfident.
"All those small things are in my mind. But, we cannot look at the table and think that we have an easy game. the team asks that. We must avoid small mistakes."
Owing to the games in quick succession, Jorge Costa revealed that he might make three or four changes in his starting line-ups. But, his bigger worry is the injury to Paulo Machado. He revealed that he could be out for a long run.
"Of course, this is a problem. We play sometimes three games in seven days. And then, we have a gap of 9-10 days. But, all the players know the league. So, this is not a problem. What can be a problem is losing players due to injuries. We will change 3-4 players. I trust my first 11 players and the bench players. One injury could be tough for our stretch of home games. We are waiting for Paulo Machado. We still don't know exactly when he will be back but he is out for a long run. And then, Borges also cannot play against Hyderabad FC owing to suspensions."
Hyderabad FC has regained their goalscoring touch after Bobo found his scoring boots. The Brazilian scored three goals in their last two matches but Jorge Costa doesn't count him as a big threat.
"I don't see things like that. If that's the case, it's much easy for us to stop one player than for Hyderabad FC to stop twelve. If we believe the way we play and with good spirit, we can win the game."
Apart from losing two matches, Jorge Costa is irritated with Mumbai City FC sharing the spoils in four matches. He believes the team should pick up all three points as the table is tight.
"The first half was not as good as our second half in the last season. We must play the second half in a better way when compared to the first half like we did last season. The last two wins as you can see has changed our position in the points table. Winning one game can make all the difference. We must do everything to win tomorrow. Our target is to finish inside the top four and for that, we need to get all the three points and not settle for one."
After a hectic travelling schedule that took them to Bengaluru and Jamshedpur, Mumbai City FC will play in front of their home fans. Jorge Costa believes tomorrow's is an important game not because it involves less travelling but because it is in front of their home fans.
"The travelling depends on whether you stay in Mumbai or Navi Mumbai. But, in the first part of our season, we are getting more points from our away games than home games. I don't understand that. We must be stronger at home in front of fans. That is one thing we must change in tomorrow's game. So, it's good to have more games at home, not because of less travel but because we are playing in front of our fans."Published 28 Dec 2019, 17:38 IST