Peter Reid demands better discipline from players
After a mixed start to the inaugural Hero Indian Super League, Mumbai City FC manager Peter Reid – a born optimist – sat alongside goalkeeper Subrata Paul as he addressed the media in a pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s fixture against Chennayin FC in Chennai tomorrow.
Reid was effusive in his praise of striker Nicolas Anelka, who is likely to start tomorrow. “His training is first-class. He is a top-class professional and is looking forward to the game,” Reid enthused.
Despite the team’s up-and-down start to the season, in which they lost 3-0 to Atlético de Kolkata, then bounced back to beat FC Pune City 5-0, only to fall 2-0 in their last game, against NorthEast United FC, Reid backed his side to find some consistency.
Part of the reason for Reid’s conviction is the depth in his squad. “We have got a really good squad. André Moritz, Subhash Singh, Lalrindika Ralte, and Anelka are top class players and it is a game that we are looking forward to.”
Reid singled out André Mortiz for special praise for his contribution to the squad. The Brazilian scored the first-ever ISL hat-trick in the win against Pune City before pulling the strings for Mumbai’s attacking play in the first half against NorthEast United FC.
However, Reid sounded an air of caution by marking out the opposition’s marquee player Elano as the man to watch out for his defence. “We know it is a difficult game. We are playing against some very good players,” Reid warned. “Elano, who I know from his Manchester City days, is amazing in dead ball situations and has an amazing technique.”
The gaffer was brutally honest on what he sees as his side’s Achilles heel. “I am an optimist by nature, but if there is a worrying factor that I have, it is that we are putting ourselves under tremendous pressure by conceding stupid free kicks,” bemoaned Reid. “Should we have a chance of succeeding against this team and the quality of Elano, we will have to cut out the stupid free kicks. We must have better discipline.”
Reid has cause to worry about his team’s discipline. Set pieces are likely to pose danger to Mumbai’s goal, with two of Elano’s three goals coming from stunning free kicks. But even more worryingly, Mumbai ended the game against NorthEast with nine men. Marquee player Freddie Ljungberg went off injured after all three substitutions had been used, and Pavel Čmovš compounded the situation by being sent off for a second bookable offence just minutes later. Reid lamented, “Going down to nine men against NorthEast United was the team’s own fault. We must be more disciplined in terms of not committing the fouls.”
Keeper Subrata Paul reiterated Reid’s point regarding the need for calmness and discipline. “Concentration is going to be key. The coach has instructed the team to show more discipline when it comes to conceding free-kicks and fouls.”