Costa praises Highlanders’ style of play, but refuses to tinker with his own

Mumbai City FC welcome NorthEast United FC in their final home match of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 league campaign on Wednesday. The Islanders’ surge has been temporarily halted following two consecutive defeats, but still look set to finish in the playoffs.

Speaking to the media a day prior to facing the Highlanders, the Mumbai City head coach, Jorge Costa refused to believe that his team had come under increased pressure after the recent losses. “No, it’s the same. The pressure is same. I understand that pressure. Its normal. Every week you have less games. The level of the pressure is higher than before. This is our life. We must know how to deal with this pressure. That’s why we have this job. We are every day, every time under pressure,” the Portuguese said.

Costa then, laughed off claims that he was expecting an easy match due to the Highlanders’ injury problems. “No, to be honest (I’m not expecting an easy game). It will not be an easy game. We are speaking about one of the best teams that play the best football in India. They have very good players, Indian and especially foreigners. They are having an amazing season. I’m not so stupid, I’m not so foolish,” said the Islanders boss.

Shedding light on the opponent’s squad, Costa said: “I can change one or two players, but I will not change the way we are used to playing. They have very good players. They are an aggressive team. In terms of organisation, they are one of the best teams in India. We must give our best tomorrow. We must be at 100% tomorrow. We want to finish the game and win the three points.”

The 47-year-old concluded with a brief account on whether he thought the Islanders’ narrow 1-0 win in the reverse fixture handed them an advantage going into tomorrow’s fixture. “No. It was a difficult game. I remember because of NorthEast we finished the game, defending, working a lot as a team and it was very important three points. But no, it will not be an advantage. We have another game that will also have three more important points for us,” he said.

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