It’s a very tough game, but one we are very much prepared for: Mumbai City FC’s Des Buckingham

Mumbai City FC are cruising in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season so far, having won three out of the four matches played. Sitting on top of the table with the highest goal difference, the Islanders now face Jamshedpur FC who are trailing behind them in second position.

Mumbai City FC’s head coach Des Buckingham addressed the media in the pre-match press conference ahead of their upcoming match discussing plans to fight Jamshedpur FC, Owen Coyle's experience as a coach and his message to the players.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

What is your assessment on the four matches played so far?

Buckingham: It’s a good start. For me it was about making a good start which we did against Goa and then it’s about trying to get better in every game and I think we have started to show real signs of doing that right from game one to game four and it’s going to be so important we do that in the next game.

The last two games you won 5-1, 3-1, it’s a good margin, the mood is uplifted, but as a coach does the 1 conceded goal still bother you, not getting a clean sheet?

Buckingham: Yes, I think you would love to win every game with a clean sheet, but the way we want to play is an expansive game, an exciting game and we commit players forward so I don’t want to change that. For me sticking the whole team behind the ball isn’t exciting to watch from the sideline, so we will give chances away but try to keep the chances few and away from our goal, otherwise we will continue to play an attacking brand of football.

You are playing against Jamshedpur who have come up with another win against ATK Mohun Bagan, so what is your take on Jamshedpur FC?

Buckingham: They have got a hugely experienced manager in Owen Coyle and the career that Owen Coyle has had, if I can have half of that in my coaching career, I would be extremely proud. It’s going to be an absolute pleasure to share the touchline with him. Their work rate is unbelievable, we would have to match that if not better it. They have quality across the pitch that we need to be aware of and we have prepared for that and now it’s very important that we focus on us and make sure that we adapt to our plans so that we can cause them a problem. It’s a very tough game, but one we are very much prepared for.

After having two back to back wins, how important is it going to be to keep that winning momentum going on and how will you pass that message on to the players?

Buckingham: One game at a time. It’s not important where you are at the table right now, it's about where you finish at the end of the season. What’s happened in the past is gone and we are not looking further too far into the future. We have a saying here which is one game at a time which we stick true to and that game is there on the face tomorrow so we have to  focus on that.

Mumbai City’s midfielder Raynier Fernandes was also present at the press conference and addressed to questions put forward:

You won the competition last season and it was an excellent season, what different are you doing this season?

Raynier: Last year we won the shield and trophy but that was past but we cannot live in that same moment every time, we got to move on from that. This season it’s a new journey. We have to defend the shield and the trophy for which we have to be a family as a team and work harder. We need to try to win as many games as possible. Last year we were positive about everything we were doing on and off the field and we are going to do the same thing this year.

How has the coach helped you improve your game, what aspects has he worked on?

Raynier: The experience is good with the coach as he brings in a lot of experience. It’s good for me and the youngsters as you get to learn a lot from Des and it feels great when you know that the coach has confidence in you and the entire team. In training and matches you can see the winning mentality which he has and that’s what motivates and improves us. He gives the playing time and as a player I am very happy that I get the playing time I want and I'm trying my best in the training sessions and matches and hopefully I get a chance to play in most of the games.

You were one of the guys who won the double last year, so what message would you give to players who have just come?

Raynier: You got to just keep working hard, be yourself in your training, enjoy your training sessions, enjoy your matches, stay positive and the results will come. You have to be like a family as I always say as you get to know the other person on and off the field which is very positive. So we have to work hard, set a goal and go on the field and try to achieve it.

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