Jorge Costa: Important that we focus on things we can control

Mumbai City FC host Jamshedpur FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. The Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 semi-finalists are currently in fourth place on the table, but their position is far from certain secure multiple clubs hot on their heels. With that mind, the Islanders will be eager to secure all three points against Jamshedpur to give themselves some breathing space.

Despite the importance of the tie, Mumbai head coach Jorge Costa, at the pre-match press conference, stressed that his team will tackle the occasion like any other fixture. He said, “I think the most important thing is that we must respect Jamshedpur, and we will do that. Three games till the end of the league stage for us. We will not change a lot of things, and for sure, we will not change the manner in which we are used to playing.”

“Sometimes in some games we need to change some things, small things. But we will not change anything special for the Jamshedpur game. The most important thing for me is to assure the players about what they need to do. They need to do it properly against Jamshedpur, because this is a huge game for us, very important game, very important three points. We need to do our best and be at our best to finish the game with three points,” Costa added.

Assessing the quality of the Jamshedpur side, the Portuguese commented, “It’s true that the last few games they (Jamshedpur) are not winning. But we must respect them. They have good players. They have good foreigners. They have a good coach. And yes, we must think about all this. The most important thing we must do is to respect all opponent teams, like we have been since the beginning.”

Asked if it being a home match would be advantageous for his side, the 48-year-old opined, “I don’t believe that playing at home or away changes things. I believe that the players must be focused in all the games, from the first to the last second. If you have to compare playing at home or away, I think that playing at home must be better for us. We play in our house, with our fans, and it must bring something extra to us.”

Finally, the Islanders head coach urged his players to focus on their job at hand and not worry about the teams chasing them for the fourth place. “I look at the things that I can control, and the things that I can control is my job, my players and the coming match. There’s no reason for me to look at the others. My job is to give my best. After winning the game, we can look at the others. But the most important is to do our job, which is to give our best and fight until the end for three points.”

Defender Pratik Chaudhari, meanwhile, said, “I think not just me, the whole squad is very much excited for the Jamshedpur game and the coming games. For us, these are very crucial games. They are like finals for us. So, it’s very important and we are prepared for the game.”

Sharing his thoughts on the Jamshedpur squad, the Mumbai defender added, “They have very good strikers. They have a good team and we have prepared well. For us, it’s just about going out there and doing our job. It’s like a final for us. We just have to go out there and get the points.”

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