Mumbai City FC midfielder Alberto Noguera might not have started a game for Mumbai City FC yet this Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season, but that hasn’t stopped the Spaniard from making an impact off the bench. Despite featuring in just 398 minutes across nine games this season, Noguera has found the net on three occasions. 

Noguera scored his first two goals of the season away from home and netted his third during MCFC’s comprehensive 4-1 win over FC Goa at the Mumbai Football Arena, and he did so in some fashion. After a wayward clearance by the opposition, Noguera struck the ball with venom and into the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance. In nine games, the 33-year-old has already matched his best-ever goal tally (3) from last season when he was with FC Goa.

The midfielder has been among the many players who have shone in Mumbai City FC’s attack this season. He is among the eleven players involved in goals for the Islanders, with Des Buckingham’s side netting 27 goals - more than any other team this season. The Islanders are the only team to remain unbeaten this season, and with players like Noguera in their ranks, they look unstoppable at the moment.

In an exclusive interview, Noguera spoke to after the game against FC Goa, where he discussed his role as a substitute, his team’s unbeaten run, celebrating against his former team, and more. 

Here are the excerpts:

You scored your first goal at home this season. Your thoughts? 

I’m very happy because I could help my team and that’s the important thing, to win.

You have scored thrice off the bench this season. When you come on as a substitute is there more hunger and desire to contribute for the team? 

Of course, I am here to help the team, and I am looking for more minutes. I need to keep going and give my best. 

What was the reason behind celebrating against your former team? 

Nothing special, it was because my family was there at the stadium. I really love FC Goa as well. The celebration was for my family, who were at the Mumbai Football Arena for the first time. 

Do you think Mumbai City FC can go unbeaten the entire season? 

I don’t know. We have to focus on the next game. We have to take it game by game, and we need to keep pushing ourselves, that’s the most important thing. 

What do you think is the secret behind the team’s unbeaten run? 

Hard work, that’s the secret. We keep working hard every day, and that’s our mentality. 

The team is stacked with quality midfielders, so which players do you enjoy playing alongside on the pitch? 

Everyone is performing well. It depends on the coach who he decides to play and who does not. As players, we need to keep pushing ourselves to play more.  

Greg Stewart has been starting ahead of you, but there have been occasions where you have been playing with him too. How would you describe the understanding between the two of you?

It’s always easier when you play with good players. I am happy because we have been performing well collectively. Doesn’t matter if it’s me, Greg (Stewart) or (Ahmed) Jahouh, whoever is playing is giving their best, and that’s important. What matters, in the end, is three points.