ISL: Stage set for Maharashtra derby, Mumbai and Pune clash after identical starts to season

first_imgMumbai City FC and FC Pune City are set to clash in Maharashtra derby at Balewadi on Wednesday following identical starts to the season. Both teams having lost their opening games against Bengaluru FC and Delhi Dynamos respectively, hit back with victories, with Pune especially impressive in their 4-1 demolition of ATK in Kolkata.Mumbai City FC’s captain Lucian Goian, in a conversation with IndiaToday.in, said that the win against Goa was a much needed one and it given them great confidence.”The feeling in the camp is good. The home win was a much needed boost after losing out in Bangalore. We showed great character in that win against Goa and these are three very important points for us and for our confidence,” Goian said to IndiaToday.in ahead of the derby.He acknowledged the importance of the derby for the Mumbai fans but stated that the team looks at it as an opportunity to grab three points in the league.”For the fans, it’s a special game and we know it. I hope they turn up and support us in Pune in large numbers. But for us, it’s another opportunity to get 3 points. We’re prepared and we’re confident after our win against Goa,” Goian said.Goian said that Mumbai City FC are a quality unit and after defeat against Bengaluru FC, it was all about the will to win.”It’s all about willing to win. We have the quality in our side and it was only about the winning mentality. And we showed it (against Goa).”advertisementWhile Goian is confident of his side’s quality, coach Alexandre Guimaraes is aware of the attacking prowess of FC Pune City and hinted that his players will be careful on match day.”The goals that they’ve scored came from very precise attacks. And when a team can do that, you have to make sure you don’t make mistakes because then they will punish you,” Guimaraes said in the pre-match press conference.Despite the caution, Guimaraes is confident of his team’s morale after the home win against Goa.”Winning at home is always great and it is understandable that it gives the players a different confidence because they got the result they fought for,” he said.Guimaraes has been a master at organising his team in a tight formation but admitted that like most other managers, he is also trying to find “the right mix” in his team going forward into the season.Goian also reiterated Guimaraes’ focus on organisation and revealed that the Costa Rican manages to keep “everyone in sync, like a family.””Firstly, it’s to have a good organisation. Like you may have seen with his teams, he likes to build from the back but also has the firepower up top. We had a great season last time around under coach and it was mostly down to how he keeps everyone together and in sync, like a family. Even in a new season, with a new team, he has to deal with 25 players and 25 different characters. And he manages to keep us united and strong and that is definitely the most important part about being a team,” Goian conceded.Pune coach Ranko Popovic said he was disappointed that his team couldn’t win their first game at home but at the same time, he was incredibly pleased with their showing against the defending champions.”It was a very crucial and important step for us to get our first three points and we will try to do the same at home. But it was especially important because this club doesn’t have a great record at winning away games,” the Serbian said in the pre-match press conference.Papovic had stated before the tournament that he will ask his players to play entertaining football and while that was not the case in their opener, they surely produced some brilliant moments against ATK.”Even in the pre-season, apart from the first match, we had goals in every other game. It was more a case of concentration than anything else. And we will try to do the same: score lots of goals, but in football you can never say what will happen,” he said.last_img

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