Not chasing records, but performances: Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham

Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham made it clear that his team's focus is not on records, but on putting up consistent performances instead, after the Islanders recorded a dominant 4-0 win against Kerala Blasters FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), at the Mumbai Football Arena, in Mumbai, on Sunday.

All four goals came in the first 22 minutes of the game as Jorge Diaz’s brace coupled with strikes from Greg Stewart and Bipin Singh ensured a dominant win for the hosts. With the win over the Blasters, Mumbai City FC set a new record in the Hero ISL for the longest wins streak by any team (8). The Islanders are back on the top spot on the Hero ISL table and are still unbeaten this season after 13 games.

Buckingham revealed that the focus for him is on his team’s performances and not records.

“The records are not something that we have spoken or are a target for us. If you start looking at those things then you start chasing them. It is not the records that we are chasing, but the performances. We have so many measures which we use internally to measure our performance. And if we hit those measures more often than not and hold ourselves to the standards we have set, we have shown that results often come. They don’t often come, but it is nice to know that has happened. It’s always a nice thing for people to talk about, but for us, it’s not something that we talk about,” he said at the post-match press conference.

Mumbai City FC continued to create chances in the second half and dominate possession, but had nothing to show for it. When asked if why the team didn’t score more goals after scoring four goals in the opening 22 minutes, Buckingham said: “The first 30 minutes was some of the best football I have seen the team play. It’s difficult to come out and score four goals in that space of time and football never continues in that fashion. The second half was about managing the game. Last week, when we scored while the score was 1-1, it was about how consistent could we be. If we speak about behaviors and our standards, how well could we continue to manage this game and do it as well as we could. And that was pleasing in the second half.”

Mumbai City FC look like the team to beat this season, after winning 10 and drawing three of their 13 games. They face ATK Mohun Bagan in their next game and Buckingham mentioned his team was focusing on one game at a time rather than staying unbeaten the entire season.

“It’s not the goal of mine or the team (to stay unbeaten). The goal of ours returns to (the game against) ATK Mohun Bagan. Every team comes with a different game plan and makes it difficult for us to try and stop us and they want to beat us. The same way we do when we go there. So we won’t lose sight of that. We just need to make sure we rest, recover and make sure we prepare as well as we can for what will be a tough game,” he said.

“The feeling in the dressing room is one of focus and professionalism. We have seven more games to play and we have an important game next week against ATK Mohun Bagan away. And we know we need to come away with more performances and if we do like I just seen in the first half, that was a pleasure to watch. The first 30 minutes of that game, for us, there was some really good football. We played extremely well. But the mood of the dressing room, regardless of the result, is to ensure we stay consistent to our behaviours and try and stay consistent we can with our performances,” he added.

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