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Survival test for Mumbai FC against DSK Shivajians

Khalid Jamil, Derrick Pereira and Subrata Paul during the pre-match press conference.

Mumbai FC will welcome newcomers DSK Shivajians for the first time at The Cooperage Stadium as they battle out for their survival in the Hero I-league today (April 24).

The Yellow Submarine needs at least a draw to avoid relegation, whereas DSK Shivajians will be looking for a win to qualify for the upcoming Federation Cup.

DSK Shivajian’s Derrick Pereira cleared his intention in the pre-match press conference, “It’s a must-win for us to get into the federation cup as only the top 8 teams can be allowed to participate in it.”

The Head Coach of DSK Shivajians feels that the Federation Cup shouldn’t be played in a short time,”Fed cup should be played over the year and not in the short time. Because you need to be fully prepared for the Federation Cup.”

When asked about DSK’s experience in their very first season, Derrick said, “It has been always a must for us to get going. We only used to train with the junior players prior to the season. We only started training with the experience players after we signed the likes of Subrata Pal, Baljit Sahni.”

Derrick also admitted that they didn’t have a bright start as they expected but soon got on track as their season went on, “We were struggling to perform and get the right results but later on, we had a good run of seven matches in the second half of the season, except for the last one against Aizawl FC.”

The former Mahindra United gaffer ruled out Zohib Islam Amiri for tomorrow’s clash, “Amiri won’t be available for tomorrow’s match. Rest of the squad is fit and available to play.”

Mumbai FC’s gaffer Khalid Jamil discussed the importance of this derby, “Its an important match for us or I could say its like a final for not only us but for DSK Shivajians too.” He further added, “The Last match we played against them, that loss proved out to be the turning point of our season as we started to fall apart.”

When asked about the availability of players, Khalid said, “There are no injury worries for us. Everyone is fit and available for the match.”

Khalid also expressed how much he respects Derrick Pereira after admitting it is always special when he faces him, “It is always a pleasure to play against Sir’s (Derrick Pereira) team. I have always enjoyed playing against him and it is quite tough to beat his side.”

When asked whether Mumbai FC will for a draw against DSK, Khalid replied: “We are prepared for any other matches. But if we are playing for a draw then it will turn out to be difficult for us.”

The match will be aired live on Ten 2 at 19.05 IST.

(Report & Photo courtesy I-League Media)