Happy with the team's response in the second half: MCFC head coach Buckingham
Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham was delighted with his side’s fighting spirit as they came from behind to clinch full points in their 6-2 victory against Chennaiyin FC in matchweek 6 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Chennai, on Saturday.
Buckingham applauded his players for the way they converted their chances while also heaping praise on the substitutes who made a crucial impact by netting the match-winning goals. He also laid emphasis on how this win will shape up to be a vital part in their ambitions for this season.
The 37-year-old wants his players to keep this momentum heading into their upcoming game and put up another great show in front of the fans in Mumbai. Buckingham addressed the media as he attended the official post-match press conference.
Here are the excerpts from Buckingham’s press conference:
What are your thoughts on tonight’s win, especially after coming from two goals behind to win the game?
I’m actually very happy to come to a tough place here tonight. Another away game to pick up three points is very important for what we have to achieve this season, but I was very frustrated with the first half because I thought Chennaiyin FC started the game better than we did. I don’t think we started very well, they were actually better than us for the first 20 minutes and it took us some time to get going which was very different from the last two games that we played. What was pleasing is we stuck to what we wanted to do, we weathered the rain and got ourselves back in the game, 2-2 at halftime. Then, I’m really happy with the response from the team in the second half and I thought the second half was extremely strong.
Being down in the first half and then drawing 2-2 at the break. What was the talk you gave in the dressing room that made the team fightback in the game and win it?
It’s two things. I spoke after the ATK Mohun Bagan game around the amount of chances that we created and needed to make sure that we convert a lot more of those chances, and I think we’ve done that tonight. We have created a lot more chances than we have scored but the conversion rate is what we kind of need to make sure we come away from this game in a much more comfortable position.
The other point is that we started pretty much the same team for the last three games because the players had performed well and then we’ve got a very good squad of players that haven’t taken to the field or started. They have been very patient, and worked extremely hard in the background.
When you talk about the team, those players have certainly come on in the second half, they have waited, been patient, and to have an impact that they did (in the game) shows the quality of them as people. (It) also shows how important they are going to be going forward in the rest of the season.
You said you’ve used the same starting XI in the last three games. What are your views on the substitutes that scored goals tonight?
The first three substitutes, they came on and scored goals. Very good changes, but we probably just felt, week to week, we’re trying to put out the team that we think is the right team to start with. We didn’t have that chance last year to start the same (starting) eleven very often for different reasons, but when players play incredibly well, they deserve that opportunity to stay in.
The good thing is now we have competition across every position in our squad, and again if we have to be successful this year those players have to be fighting for those spots when they get that opportunity while those guys that have come on tonight have. They’re taken because it’s good for them but for the team, we just have to go on and finish the game strong.
Looking onto the next game against Bengaluru FC with a relatively shorter time around. How do you take this performance and motivate the team for the next one?
This team doesn't need no motivation. We’ve got a good group of people, a good group of players. We know Bengaluru FC will be a very tough team but we’re very much looking forward to travel back to Mumbai, get back in front of our fans who have made a wonderful atmosphere against ATK Mohun Bagan and if we can put in a show, our football that we played against them and combine it with the goal we scored in this game, against what would be a very challenging team, I’d like to think they’d turn up and support and make as much noise as they did in the last game.