Need to capitalize on opportunities in the final third: Mumbai City FC’s Des Buckingham

Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham emphasized on converting the chances created during a game, ahead of their AFC Champions League group stage match at the King Fahd International Stadium, in Riyadh, on Monday evening.

The Islanders lost their opening match 0-3 against Saudi Arabia’s Al-Shabab, last Friday evening. Despite showing intent in the build-up, the ISL outfit often lost track in the final third, which was the main reason for the disappointing result.

Buckingham addressed the media during the pre-match press conference ahead of Monday’s game.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

How are your preparations for the upcoming match?

It's less than 24 hours since the last game and we're still less than 48 hours until we kick off again. So it's a, it's a short turnaround, but one we've been preparing for, for the last three or four weeks. And the one we're looking forward to, we're going to come up against another good side. They picked up a fantastic result last night. But it's a challenge that we're ready for.

Given that Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya are a strong side, have you seen their game and what are your thoughts about the team?

Yeah, we've done a lot of work on them before we got here. They consistently finished first or second in the local league for the last four or five years. And we did, we got back to the hotel and managed to watch the game live through the AFC app.

And we've obviously dragged that off today and spent time looking through that, to add to the work that's already being done. And, I thought it was a good game last night between the two teams (Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya) and it showed the qualities that they certainly have that we need to be mindful of, but again also gives us an idea as to how we want to set up.

And like I said, it's  about us adding that final third (quality) to our game plan to make sure that the good play that we have, we can try again.

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What positives from the previous are you taking into the match against Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya?

I spoke last night about how proud I was of our players. It was the first experience of the players in this level of competition and the way that they went about being brave, trying to play a certain way.

I felt we got a good possession against a very good team. I felt we created good build up from the back, from the goalkeeper, through the midfield. The one learning for us is now we need to take that into the final third to create opportunities and chances on the opposition goal, because we found ourselves in really good positions, but just couldn't quite get the output that we wanted, which Al-Shabab certainly did. So that's something that we'll take.

As a positive, will be how well we performed individually and as a team to that final third, but now it's about making sure when we get to the final third, that we can capitalize on the good play.

Islanders’ midfielder Lalengmawia Ralte (Apuia) also addressed the questions put forward by the media.

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

What are your thoughts ahead of the next match?

It is going to be a difficult match. They're having lots of experience in the AFC competitions and it is the second time that an Indian club is playing in the AFC Champions League. So, it's a great opportunity for us to show ourselves, but we are going to give everything to win and we’ll give our best.

There is a big jump in terms of the level of competition you are facing in the AFC Champions League from the Hero ISL. How is the exposure going to help you in the domestic circuit?

Of course it will help us, being in the highest league, in the highest level in Asia and, you know, going back to ISL, it would help us a lot because experience is very important. And I think it's a great opportunity to improve ourselves as a player and as a team. So I think it's a great platform for everyone to play at the highest level. So that will help us a lot.

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