Costa: We have the quality to score against and beat ATK

Mumbai City FC travel to Kolkata to take on ATK at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Saturday. The Islanders are unbeaten on the road this season, taking five from a possible nine points and will be confident about taking something away from the home of the two-time champions.

While speaking at the pre-match press conference, Mumbai head coach Jorge Costa asserted that despite ATK being one of the best teams in India at present, he backed his side to get the job done. “ATK are one of the best teams in India, they are performing really well. So, we are expecting a difficult game against them. We’ll be playing against one of the best teams in the Hero ISL at this moment. But we know what we can do, and we know that we can go back home with three points, which is what’s most important,” Costa said.

“I think we can stop ATK. To be honest, I think my 11 players can stop ATK and beat them. They play very well, they play as a team and it’s true that they have quality up top with two players. But my aim isn’t to stop those two players, my aim is to stop their entire team and then put some pressure on them with our quality. Because we have the quality to score against them and beat them,” he later added.

The Portuguese head coach then defended his defence, which has conceded 10 times in their last three games, opting to focus on the entire team instead. “We are making some mistakes as a team that we cannot make at this level. But it’s something we can fix. We’re doing well as a team in the game but making some individual mistakes and it’s been costing us points. But we have time to fix it, we have time to get points and we have time to get to where we want to finish by the end of the league.”

Costa also welcomed City Football Group’s (CFG) recent majority stake acquisition of Mumbai City and said, “I think we still have a lot of work to do to improve the quality in the Hero ISL. But I’ve seen that we have people who want to work, they want to learn, and they want to improve. So, comparing this season to the last, we are improving but there’s still a lot of work to do. Step by step, season by season we can have a better league.”

Costa continued, “As far as the deal with Manchester City is concerned, I’m very proud to be a part of it. I’m very happy and excited. It will be wonderful for Mumbai City and also for Hero ISL. I think they can bring us a lot of things to help us. Both Mumbai City and the Hero ISL have a better future.”

When asked what he would want CFG to help Mumbai City with, in the immediate future, Costa quipped, “Bernardo Silva. That’s my priority (chuckles).”

Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, who accompanied Costa to the pre-match briefing, also feels that the Islanders and the league have a bright future. “It’s a very good deal, it will benefit young Indian players in the future. In the last four, five years we have all seen how much Indian football has grown because of the Hero ISL and I feel that this deal will reap further benefits for football in India,” he said.

The Indian custodian also believes that the Islanders must cut down on errors to stop conceding regularly. “I think it’s the team’s collective failure (that we have conceded so many goals). We’ve been making some silly errors and we want to rectify them moving forward. If we want to go to the top of the table then we will have to cut down on our mistakes soon. For the immediate future, I just want to give my best against ATK and ensure that I don’t make any silly error. We will all try to produce our best,” Amrinder said.

Read the Match Preview here.

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