Jorge Costa: Winning was the only choice my players had

Mumbai City FC bolstered their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 top four chances with a narrow 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday. Diego Carlos' first half strike proved to be the difference between the two sides on the night and propelled the Islanders to the fourth position in the table.

At the post-match press conference, Islanders head coach Jorge Costa analysed his team’s performance and said, “I am happy with the team. When we don’t concede goals, it means that we worked as a team. All the players were helping in defence. Today we didn’t concede goals and they didn’t have chances to score.”

“NorthEast had no chances. It was not a wonderful game, but one team deserved to win the game, and Mumbai City deserved to win three points. We are playing under a lot of pressure. Today I told the players that we have only two options for this game. It’s to win and to win. They didn’t have any other option, if we had to finish fourth. The next game will be the same,” added the Portuguese.

The 48-year-old also revealed that some of the players in his starting XI weren’t 100% fit. “We were facing some physical problems with some players. Some players who played today were not 100% fit. But they understood what to do. From the first second until the end, they were focusing on their job. We played together, not with the quality that we want and we can, but at the end, it’s three points and that’s what matters,” said Costa.

The Portuguese then, admitted that his team faced some problems in dealing with NorthEast playmaker Federico Gallego in the early stages of the game. “We are not perfect and always there are one or two players, who, for one reason or the other, are not in tune with what I want them to do. And sometimes, we concede because of that. At the beginning, we had a small problem because Gallego was having the ball. We were looking only at the ball and losing the player. During the game, we fixed this problem,” he noted.

Costa also lauded the effort of the players who played out of their regular positions for the sake of the team. He said, “We started the game with Mohammed Rafique as a right-back. He is not a right-back. We finished the game with Bipin (Singh), who is a left winger but played as a left-back. I am happy with them because they know that their main position is not that, but for the team, they did the job. This means that I have players who, for the good of the team, can do all I ask of them.”

Read the Match Report here.

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