Guimaraes delighted to win without key players
Mumbai City FC head coach Alexandre Guimaraes was a happy man following his team’s 1-0 victory against FC Pune City at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Monday evening. This was the first time in the Hero ISL that Mumbai City won their season-opener. The solitary goal of the match came in the 69th minute through Matias Defederico.
Speaking to the media after the match, Guimaraes said his team had a good outing. “The start of the league is always difficult because as you saw we have to manage different situations in our squad, Gaston Sangoy’s injury and then Sony [Norde] had to go to Haiti on national duty. So in just five days we had to think a lot but I think the players showed tremendous credibility in our work.
“They showed discipline so they understood the way we have to play against a very good team…I think the result is very good for us to start but it is a long league and this is only the start.”
However, the Costa Rican acknowledged there was still plenty of scope for improvement. “Of course we have to improve on this. Of course sometimes in the first few minutes it’s normal that we didn’t get possession of the ball. As soon as we managed that after 20 minutes, maybe 25, we found our game and the spaces for our players to perform. In defence of course we have to be much more alert, we cannot allow the counter attacks that they did and they did well but our goalkeeper also did a fantastic job. So now what we have to do is recuperate, rest and eat well,” he said.
Defederico’s goal was set up by Uruguayan legend and Mumbai’s marquee player Diego Forlan. Guimaraes said he was satisfied with the performance of the former Manchester United striker. “Well he did what we wanted. He moved the way we wanted him to move. He plays at number 9 but he moves of course. He will get better with more matches.”
Meanwhile, FC Pune City assistant coach Miguel said that despite the defeat there were quite a few positives for his team. “We can take a lot of positives. From my point of view, we didn’t play the best but we kept our pace and shape right till the very end. That is a very big positive for us. We created 4-5 chances, that’s another positive. Even without the coach [Antonio Habas who is suspended for four matches], we did well. You have to know that around 80% of the team is new. It’s not easy to build up like that. We need to play more games and the team will improve.”
Miguel also admitted their wastefulness in front of goal proved costly. “We got three, four chances to score one goal. One-on-one with the goalkeeper, we didn’t score. They took their chance, they scored one goal. Even if we didn’t play well, we had the chances to win the game. It’s a difficult first game of the league after the pre-season so both teams will improve,” he said.