Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham wants his team to stick to their game plan as they lock horns with Odisha FC in match 90 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at PJN Stadium in Margao, on Sunday.

Mumbai City FC are sixth in the points table with 22 points in 14 matches.

Mumbai City FC won 1-0 against Chennaiyin FC in their last match. A late strike from Vikram Singh got MCFC their first win in the last eight matches.

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

Here are the excerpts from the press conference.

Is there any specific plan to mark Javi (Hernandez) and Jonathas who have been impressive for Odisha FC?

We have got a plan for every game. I have always said that it’s important we focus on ourselves. We have a gameplan and it’s important that we stick to it like we have in the last three games in particular. Because now we are a team that’s unbeaten in three and have collected five points out of possible nine. This has given us some momentum going into the backend of the season.

Odisha FC defeated Mumbai City FC in the first leg, what would your approach be for tomorrow’s game?

I think every game is different. I think when you look at the table, yes there’s only one point between Odisha FC and us, but there’s only one point between us and the third, fourth placed team. It’s a very tight league. The remaining six games are going to be very important for us. When I look at the results, everyone seems to be taking points off everyone. It’s going to be an exciting February and March but it’s important that we focus just on this game against Odisha FC.

Mumbai City FC got a comprehensive win over Chennaiyin FC in the last match and broke seven games winless streak, how have you worked to maintain that level in the upcoming match?

I think just what we have continued to do. You referred to our winless run, I will talk around the fact that even in that winless run we were picking up results. We picked up four draws and actually felt that we were playing good football. We knew if stuck to our style we would get the results, which is what we had in the last two games. We are unbeaten in the last three. We wanted to build momentum in the backend of the season and now we are in a good position to kick on and do that.

Could you tell us about Mourtada Fall’s role in the team, be it on or off the pitch?

We have re-signed Mourtada for another season, which has been based on what I have seen him bring to this group. His true leadership. How he goes about his business off the field, the way he is able to engage with his teammates and staff, the way he leads by example and not just by words but by actions These are the main things I admire about him. I am pleased to have him for another season.

What would be your analysis of the youngsters you have coached this season?

We have good senior players but when you look across our side we have a lot of young players. And not just young players sitting on the bench, they are actually playing. Nwas, Amey, Vignesh, Mehtab, Apuia, Vikram, and Gurkirat Singh. They have had a huge impact getting us where we are right now. And we have a lot more that haven’t featured yet. But they are surrounded by good senior professional both Indian and foreigners. I have said that we want the best Indian players here, young or old, and we have certainly got a good bulk of it here now.