Costa wants maximum points against ‘organized’ Highlanders

A buoyant Mumbai City FC travel to Guwahati on Friday to take on NorthEast United FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium. They’ll be hoping to mirror their last away performance, which saw them beat the defending champions in Chennai. The Islanders have rediscovered their form and scoring touch ever since their loss away at Goa. They’ve won both their subsequent games without conceding a single goal.

Mumbai coach, Jorge Costa attended the pre-match conference and the Portuguese made it clear that he’s impressed by the unbeaten-Highlanders’ organization having watched a couple of their games. “Yes, it’s true. It’s true that they have a start to the season we wanted. But to be honest, the last 2-3 days I was watching the NorthEast side. And they are very good. Very good in terms of possession, organization. So, tomorrow we’ll have a very difficult job, but tomorrow it’s 11 against 11 on the field. We can also do very good things. Our wish is to go home with the three points,” Costa said.

Mumbai’s resurgence has been fueled by squad rotation and Costa went on to insist that he was going to make changes to his team despite their winning run. “We’ll change. Of course, that will leave space for the opponents. We’ll change small things. We have our philosophy. I must do what I must for the three points. I’ll not change anything from the win,” he said.

It will be a case of homecoming for two of the Islanders’ young stars, Alen Deory and Pranjal Bhumji. Costa admitted that he was content with their work and that they’ll have more chances to impress this season. “Sure, I have 25 players and I have to make use of all of them. The two players (Deory and Bhumji) are working, and they are working well. Both waited for this opportunity. For sure they’ll have opportunities to do better,” Costa opined.

He then concluded the conference by refusing to consider NorthEast’s center-back issues as an advantage for his team. “We have some injuries and problems. But as I said before, I have 25 players. I believe in all these 25 players. In one game it was home against Pune, Amrinder (Singh) didn’t play. We played with Ravi (Kumar). I’m sure the coach of NorthEast has the same feeling. He has 25 players and I’m sure he’ll involve them,” the 47-year-old added.

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