Jorge Costa: Replacing Machado not easy but I trust my players

Mumbai City FC will be aiming to go above ATK FC in the standings with a win against them at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday. The Islanders are currently on a sensational unbeaten run of six games and find themselves in the top four. Their recent record against ATK hasn’t been too bad either, with the Islanders almost getting the better of the former champions in the reverse fixture between the two earlier in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20.

Mumbai head coach, Jorge Costa reflected on that particular game at the pre-match press conference, and stated, “We played a wonderful game in Kolkata. We could have won the game. We are ready. We know what to do according to their qualities. If they will play three at the back, we know what to do. If they play with four, we know what to do. It will be a different game compared to Kolkata. But we cannot forget we did. We stopped ATK from playing with a good organization. We had more chances to score. I don’t know if we will see the same game (in Mumbai).”

The Portuguese coach then claimed his players will be prepared to go up against any formation that the former champions might utilize, stating, “It’s not the first time that we play against them. It’s true that it is different when the opponent team have a different system. Not all the games they play with three at the back. Sometimes they play with four. So, we must be prepared for both situations and we are.”

The 48-year-old also provided insight on how he was planning to cope with their injured midfield general, Paulo Machado. “We don’t have anyone in our team like Paulo. From the beginning I’ve said that I have 25 players and I trust all of them. It was also good for us that in the last game, we didn’t have Paulo, we didn’t have (Rowllin) Borges and yet we won. So, I trust all the players. Now it’s up to me to find the better solution knowing that Paulo will not play. But I have a team. We must play as a team. Playing as a team, we can beat anyone.”

Costa then went on to share his plans for the January transfer window. “It’s always difficult, this period of the season. We will not close the doors. We are trying to see if something good can happen to us. But it’s not easy to find good solutions in December. We are doing our best to see if we can have someone who can bring something extra to this team. I am happy with the players that I have, but I will not close any doors,” he said.

Meanwhile, striker, Modou Sougou who had attended the media briefing with Costa said, “I think it will be a very difficult game for them and for us because two very good teams will face each other. Now we are in the second part of the season and all the teams need points. We are in good form and we have to keep this. I hope we will continue this. We are ready for ATK.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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