Injury was a big concern for me but I came back strong: Mumbai City FC’s Mandar Dessai

Mumbai City FC’s defender, Mandar Dessai, expressed concern after an injury setback that made him sit out the first couple of matches in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22, however, since his return he has felt confident with clubs' good run of form.

The Islanders face the challenge of undefeated Chennaiyin FC in their next encounter and Dessai believes that carrying the momentum is the way forward while carefully studying their opponents.

Ahead of their clash, Dessai addressed the media during a pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the player’s press conference:

How important was it for you to come back after injury? And how do you feel to be back contributing back-to-back wins for the team?

Dessai: Injury was a big concern for me. I think it's important to recover well and come back as strong as possible, but we started the season well with the first game. In the second game, we performed well, but the results were not what we wanted. But right now, the form is going good. And I think we have to continue this.

How do you see Chennaiyin FC for tomorrow's game? How do you judge their strengths?

Dessai: Chennaiyin, they are doing good. They got good results and they are unbeaten but we have been also doing well. So, we go into this match keeping in mind all the positive things they have done throughout the tournament but when it comes to us, you have seen us perform. We have the same core. We have the same style of play. So, I think that's the main thing which takes us forward in this tournament.

You spent a lot of time under Sergio Lobera in FC Goa as well as Mumbai City FC. And now you are playing under Des Buckingham. Have you noticed any difference between the coaching style or playing style?

Dessai: I think we play the same style but coach Des has added some few things to it. And I think it's more attacking. And I have seen the results going good for us.

What is it like having a role as a senior player and in advising and guiding the younger players of the squads?

Dessai: I've learned a lot from my seniors when I was young, and I just want to share my experience from my footballing career, to the young ones who are coming up and just want to share the good things on and off the field so that they can perform better.

How do you see the change in rule to have a maximum of four overseas players in each playing XI?

Dessai: More chances for the domestic players to perform. You can only play four foreigners, but, we should get adapted as fast as possible to the system, whatever we play and try to give our best. And we have a lot of chances to prove ourselves now. So that's the best opportunity for the domestic players.

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