Want to score more goals than anybody else in the league: Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham

Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham is banking on their offensive style of football when they take on Odisha FC in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, on Monday.

The Islanders were held to a 3-3 draw by NorthEast United FC in their previous game, but are still at the top of the league table with 16 points from 8 matches.

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

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

The transfer window is open now, is there any possibility of players joining the squad or any outgoing players?

Yeah, the transfer window is open and I've already seen rumors flying around. I've said on a conference call that we had two or three days ago that I'm very happy with the squad that we have. So there's no plans for us right now to bring anybody in, unless we need to. I'm very happy with what we have here.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming match against Odisha FC?

Very similar answer to what I've given you for the previous eight games. I think this league this year in particular, it’s seen that any team is capable of beating any team, regardless of the position that they are in the league, or maybe based on the previous results that have come before.

So I'm expecting another tough and hard game against a well organized and a good Odisha team with good players. But the focus this week has been very much on us. We've had four days on the training field. And the focus will be on how we attack and wanting to continue to score more goals than anybody else in the league and also making sure we were fine out in the defence and make sure that we don't give chances as well, as easily as we have done in the previous two games.

Matches involving Odisha FC have been high scoring games and they have also conceded a lot. Your team has scored a lot, do you think it will be a high scoring game?

I think in the games that you've mentioned, whether it has been high scoring goals against. I think in the last game, you look at how well they started. And for me, they should have taken the lead. They had chances before they went behind. And then the chances in the first half where, it could have put them in front and changed the game. And I think those key moments are very important and they will be tomorrow night.

Would it be high scoring? If it is, I'd like to think it would be on our side, we're going to continue to try to attack them and we’ve scored the most goals in the league. And that's something we want to continue doing. We want to continue to attack and change and play exciting football. But we also need to make sure that defensively we're better set up.

Mumbai City FC defender and captain Mourtada Fall was also present at the press-conference and addressed to the questions put forward:

The team has been conceding a lot of goals in the last few months. What do you think is the reason behind it and how is it looking to fix that?

We will work on this, it is not easy because if you play open and always try to score, you know that our team always has the ball. We always know, if you try to play and have the ball, you have some space behind and sometimes the teams makes use of this and goes on counter attacks and we receive a lot of goals. So, we have to work on this and how to manage this and stop this. And if you want to be champions, you have to score more goals and concede less goals.

You are the highest scoring defender in the league and you combine well with Ahmed Jahouh. Tell us about your partnership with him.

Of course for a long time, we know each other (Ahmed Jahouh). But in set-pieces, you are always working here like this, always working in training. How to help the team to score from free-kicks is the key. Sometimes you win the game only for one set piece, which makes the difference. So we need good timing. Good delivery. Also, Jahough is a good player. They deliver inside the box, but I have to make sure that I don’t be offside. And after this, if you receive a good ball and are in a good position,  the job is to finish well. So that's why I am always trying to finish.

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