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Manuel Friedrich: Playing in India is very different

Manuel Friedrich (Mumbai City FC)
Manuel Friedrich (Mumbai City FC)

Picture courtesy Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City FC are all set to take on FC Goa in a Hero Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda on Sunday (November 8).

The Mumbaikars are eager to claim their third consecutive win when they take on the Goan side coached by Brazilian legend Zico. Head coach Peter Reid’s side would like to underline their ambitions to reach the semis and even more as they aim for their first away win of the inaugural season.

“Playing in India is very different to playing in Germany or England. Here the supporters create a great atmosphere and enjoy the game irrespective of which team you are representing,” former German international and Mumbai City FC defender Manuel Friedrich told during the pre-match press conference on Saturday. “The ISL is a major step towards making football the second biggest sport in the country.”

Friedrich made clear that the Mumbai City FC players and staff are focused to reach the knock-out stage of the ISL. “Be it the Indian players or foreigners, all of us are focused to taking the team to the semis,” he told.

Peter Reid, who was also present at the press conference, urged that his team needs to be consistent to reach their goals. “We need to be consistent and need to win matches away. Our squad is shaping up well and you will see many more youngsters making an impact soon,” the Englishman told.

“The atmosphere has been good. Fans have been appreciative as well. Even when we were beaten 2-0 at home, the reception was great. It could very well have happened in England or Germany,” Reid continued.

Talking about FC Goa, the Mumbai City FC coach told, “Goa have been unlucky. They have created chances but have just not been able to finish. I hope that continues tomorrow.”

Asked about the hamstring injury of marquee player Freddie Ljungberg, Reid said, “He is training in Mumbai currently. But it’s always difficult with these soft tissue injuries. We will have more news about him once we get back (to Mumbai).”

The FC Goa v Mumbai City FC match will kick-off at 16.30 IST.