Fourth in the Indian Super League (ISL) table, level on points with FC Goa and just one point behind second placed NorthEast United FC, Mumbai City FC find themselves in a favourable position ahead of their clash against defending Champions Chennaiyin FC. The latter are struggling at eighth position, just one point above last placed Delhi Dynamos. However, Mumbai boss Jorge Costa is wary of his next opponents.
“I think they are one of the best teams in the league. They have very good players and a good coach with a lot of experience. They are not doing so well right now but they are still one of the best," Costa said.
A goal-fest in Delhi saw the visitors take all three points after an incredible display in the second half. The Portuguese wants his team to show the grit that they did in the second half against Delhi.
“In the first half we were not really good, we were not in the game. We were not focused and looked sleepy. At half-time we changed some things and you could see a different side and this is the side that I want in all games for all 90 minutes. The three points were very important for us and we are very happy,” he exclaimed.
Mumbai’s fortunes took a turn after Goa’s 5-0 thumping of the Islanders. Costa explained how the team was able to turn it around.
“We have changed a lot of things compared to last season. We did not have a lot of time in the beginning of the season. We needed time to adjust. Now we have no excuses and we need to keep working and fighting for the three points. We played two days ago, we play today and then again three days later. So, it will be difficult for us. But this is the reality and we need to accept it and be ready," the Mumbai boss stated.
“I am happy with my team and my work. I am happy with all the people who are directly or indirectly contributing to the club but if there is any possibility (for a January transfer), we will think about it.”
The 47-year-old believes that Chennai are threatening as a unit and chose not to single out particular players who can cause harm to the hosts.
“I think everyone can be dangerous in that team. We need to be wary of all the players. I think they have one of the best team in the league and we need to be very careful," Costa quipped.
Similarly, Costa believes that team-work has brought Mumbai to a vantage point and complementing specific players would be unfair to the rest.
“I’m happy with all the 25 players that I have. You will never hear me talk about any individual specifically as I don’t think it’s fair for the others. All of them are doing their best and I’m very happy," he explained.
“When we win a game it’s because we can score goals and prevent the opponents from doing so. I don’t want to single out the goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders or strikers. We win as a team,” the Portuguese continued.
Having started the season well, booking a play-off spot would be Mumbai’s next objective. Costa wants to win as many games as possible and is not concerned about the numbers regarding how many points would ensure a top four finish.
“Last year 30 points was enough to get into the play-offs and around the same number should be enough this time. But it’s football and you never know. I can’t set a target like 28, 30 or 31. We must collect as many points as we can.”