After a hiatus of five years, Mumbai FC return to home turf and coach Khalid Jamil is hoping for a positive result from his team. The Mumbai club take on Sporting Clube de Goa in their first home match at the refurbished Cooperage football stadium on Sunday evening. The I-League match will kick-off at 16.30 IST.
“We have to perform at the highest level tomorrow as we will be under pressure, since we will be playing on this ground after five years. Also the previous three games have not been good, so I told my players that every member of the team has to give their best and get a positive result,” said Jamil on the eve of the match.
The coach also took responsibility for the earlier three defeats and the team not getting a good start to the season. “Definitely it’s my mistake for the results of the earlier games. Maybe I did not select the correct players or maybe tactically I was not good, but I am confident to rectify those mistakes in tomorrow’s game. In order to get the winning combination we have juggle some players and to get a good a result we have to change,” said a modest Jamil.
Jamil also pointed out that the attitude of the players has been good, but they have work on certain areas. “The boys have showed the right kind of attitude and played positively, but they have lacked in finishing. So we have to score early goals and when we score we have to be able to defend the advantage,” Jamil stated.
However, Mumbai FC will miss the services of their skipper and experienced midfielder Climax Lawarence who is still recovering from a groin injury. “We will start without Climax (Lawrence) who sustained an injury in the last game and Dean Pereira is likely to take his place in the playing 11,” Jamil mentioned.
Goalkeeper Kunal Sawant is expected to regain his position under the bar. Midfielder Paresh Shivalkar and defender Rahul Bheke will also miss the match as they ate not yet recovered from their injuries.
Sporting Clube de Goa coach Mathew D’Costa is wary of the Mumbai team and expects a tough match. “Mumbai FC are a strong side and are more physical. We have played good football in the last match which we lost against Salgaocar SC last week, but we are determined to put up another good performance on Sunday,” D’Costa said.
D’Costa was also not worried about playing the artificial turf at the Cooperage. “It’s not difficult to play on any surface. It all depends on how we apply ourselves to the different ground conditions.
Mumbai FC midfielder Ashutosh Mehta is eager to be playing back at the Cooperage. “It will totally be a great feeling to be playing in front of our home crowd. Since the past four years we have not tasted what it feels like playing at home. So I request all our fast to come and support Mumbai so that I performance gets better and better,” said Ashutosh.