Have to make sure we finish the season as strong as possible: Mumbai City FC's Des Buckingham

Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham urged his players to finish the remaining season strongly as they prepare to face NorthEast United FC in match 71 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at PJN Stadium, Margao, Goa, on Tuesday.

Mumbai City FC are fifth in the points table with 17 points in 11 matches. They are three points off the league leader Kerala Blasters FC. The Islanders are without a win in their last five matches.

Mumbai City FC lost 3-0 to Bengaluru FC in their last match. They had four shots on target compared to BFC’s seven despite having more passes and touches.

Ahead of Mumbai City FC’s match against NorthEast United FC, coach Buckingham addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference.

Is there a sense of gratitude to be able to play given the situation around the world?

Yes there certainly is. When you look around to see the impact of Covid-19, a lot of the people are in worse situations. First, to be able to get out and play the sport that is our career, we are fortunate to be able to do that. We have to make sure when the games come around we are ready.

Mumbai City FC started the season but has struggled off late, what’s the area of focus now?

I mentioned it at the start of the season, it’s about putting ourselves in a good position. We won the first five out six games and played some wonderful football. The last four or five games I feel we played good football but couldn’t manage to win. We are still in a good position. So, with nine games to go we have to make sure we finish the season as strong as possible.

What are your thoughts on NEUFC?

I watched their last game. I was impressed with how they played and I feel they should have got something out of the game. You can certainly see the impact their foreign players have. We are going to look for this to be one win out of the nine games we have left. We are going to take each game one by one.

The club has replaced Ygor Catatau with Diego Mauicio, what do you think he will bring to the table?

I think Catatau was a wonderful young man who did well for the club. Now, with Diego coming in, he showcased his abilities last year with Odisha FC. He can not only score goals but also link up the game in the final third. We are looking forward to working with him when he gets out of quarantine. We needed something different and Diego brings something different.

What’s the overall mood like in the backdrop of the AFC Champions League draw?

We all are excited. It was a historic moment for the club. We all got together and watched it take place. It’s an exciting moment not just for the club and Mumbai but for the entire country. But right now we have an ISL season to really focus on.

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