Clifford Miranda: There’s no margin for error in the Mumbai match

FC Goa will be looking for a win against Mumbai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Wednesday to sustain their charge to claim the top spot in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 table. Currently level on points with first-placed ATK FC, a win over the Islanders will send Goa three points clear at the summit. Mumbai, meanwhile, will be targeting the three points for themselves to further their own agenda of finishing in the top four.

Goa interim head coach Clifford Miranda, at the pre-match press conference, highlighted the fact and said, “The two teams go into Wednesday’s clash with two different objectives. Mumbai want to finish in the top four, while we want to finish at the top of the table. The pressure will be on both teams to win. The game is very important, compared to other matches. There’ll be just one match left after this and neither team has any margin for error. The game will be very hard and intense.”

Providing his take on the three-way race for the top spot, which has been unfolding over the last few weeks, Miranda noted, “We have to win our remaining games and see what happens. There are three teams in the fray who can finish top, ATK FC, Bengaluru FC and us. I think ATK are best placed to do it. They just have to win their two games and the top place is theirs. So, it’s their to lose and hence the pressure will be on them and not us.”

Having parted ways with former head coach Sergio Lobera recently, the Gaurs showed no jitters at all as they dispatched Hyderabad FC 4-1 in their last outing. Expanding on the current mood in the camp, Miranda revealed, “The players are in good spirit, they are working hard with the aim to win and finish at the top.”

Mumbai have had 14 different goal scorers this season. Addressing the stat and the challenge it brings with it, Miranda said, “Mumbai had 14 different goal scorers this season, that means we cannot target any specific player or try and mark them. We have to be wary of the entire team because anyone can score. We’ll try to be technically sound and nullify their tactical approach.”

Goa attacker Hugo Boumous has been in terrific form this season, having scored eight goals and provided six assists – his best-ever tally in a Hero ISL season. Asked the secret behind his stellar performances, Boumous stated, “This season, I have been playing more, starting more games. The team has been together for three years, so there’s a lot of stability. I have been trying my best to be part of the team, score goals and help the team.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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