Mumbai City FC  head coach Petr Kratky is determined to secure all three points against Jamshedpur FC as they face the Men of Steel in the return leg of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Friday.

The Islanders have successfully secured a spot for themselves in this season's ISL playoffs, with a whopping five matches still to play. Under their new head coach, Petr Kratky, Mumbai City FC have been steadily returning to dominant form. They currently stand second in the league table with 35 points from 17 games, having lost only twice so far, which is the fewest of any team this season. Kratky has managed to lead the Islanders to an ongoing five-match undefeated streak.

Meanwhile, Jamshedpur FC, under head coach Jamil, have been performing well, punching well above their weight in the second half of the season. The Men of Steel stand seventh on the league table with 20 points from 18 games, having drawn once and won three out of their last five matches.

The pre-match press conference started with Kratky addressing Jamshedpur FC as a strong opposition and the game against them will be a very good match.

"Jamshedpur FC is a good team, they are proving it throughout the season, because of the quality they have. We have to be aware, that we lost the reverse fixture, we want to come back here and fight for a win. It will be a very good game against Jamshedpur FC, they can beat anyone and we have to be ready for it. I think we are ready, the boys have rested well, and they feel good so looking forward to playing them tomorrow," Kratky said during the press conference. 

Mumbai City FC have five matches left in the league phase and their fate is in their own hands. They would retain the League Shield if they win their remaining matches.

The 42-year-old emphasized the significance of each remaining game in the league and shared his strategy for the upcoming matches.

"It's always important. We play well, we fight and work hard (in) every game. As you can see from what's happening in the league, every game is important. We want to go game-by-game, now it's Jamshedpur FC, (we just want to) make sure we are ready for this game tomorrow, and then the next one. But the priority is always the next game. It's good to end on a good note but we are far from the end of the season," he said.

The coach also emphasized the importance of team mentality over any other aspect of preparation, which has been key for his team in the second half of the season.

He shared, "It's massive, for me, the mentality is 90% of the performance. I want them to play free and I want them to believe in their abilities and they are doing it because they are good footballers and we are a good group. We have strengths, and we just need to be free and play the way we want to play, we have everything that it takes to win games. Don't give up and work hard and whatever happens on the pitch will happen. At the end of the day, the better team wins. The mentality is where we start and where we finish. Consistency now will be the key."

It’s not easy to play 100 games: Bipin Singh 

Bipin Singh, the seasoned winger of Mumbai City FC, was in attendance alongside head Coach Kratky during the pre-match press conference ahead of their game against Jamshedpur FC. The Manipur native has had an efficient run of games recently, scoring three goals and providing two assists in his last seven outings.

Singh shared his thoughts on their upcoming opponents, who managed to turn the game around in the reverse fixture, coming from behind to win 3-2 at the Mumbai Football Arena.

He said, "We lost to them at home in Mumbai 3-2 in the reverse fixture. They played well in that game. And they’re doing very well in the second phase of the league too and they are playing well currently. They are a strong team. It will be a tough game but we have done our preparations in the way we want to play against them. We are ready and I hope we have a good game against them."

The 28-year-old, who became the first Mumbai City FC player to reach 100 ISL matches for the club in the previous game against Punjab FC, opened up about this auspicious achievement.

"I’m very happy. It’s not easy to play 100 games. For many years, Mumbai City FC has provided me with a lot of support and has given me plenty of opportunities to play for the team which has helped me improve (my game). I’m very happy and I’m thankful to the club as well," Singh stated.