We need to tighten our defence in transition moments: Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham

Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham expressed disappointment with the way their defence was breached in counter-attacking situations as they had to settle for a thrilling 3-3 draw against NorthEast United FC in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Monday evening.

Deshorn Brown scored a hat-trick for the Highlanders, which was cancelled out by Igor Angulo’s brace and a lone strike from Bipin Singh as the teams walked away with a point apiece.

Buckingham addressed the media during the post-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

This was Mumbai City FC’s first draw of the season and also one of the most demanding matches played by your team physically. What are your thoughts on the game?

Like you said, it was our first draw, and I thought we controlled the game for large periods. But what they did was they hit us on the transitional moments. I feel the first goal was at least five yards off-side. And then we need to defend better for the second two (goals). So yes, we want to play a certain way and they have demands both physically and otherwise. But when we attack, we also need to make sure that we are set up defensively.

While Mumbai City FC created many chances going forward, there were many defensive errors and the team conceded three goals for two consecutive matches. Is that something which bothers you?

I think in an ideal world, you wouldn't want to concede any. That's not football, the way we play and the way we want to play is expansive. We create width and we create length. And it does put the ball at risk at times, but we're willing to put the ball at risk if we're defensively set up when we have those moments.

And there were key moments tonight, whether it's decisions or it's just, I'm not sure what it might be, but just making sure that we are defensively organized even when we have the ball, just in case we lose it. So we make sure there's no chances for the opponents easily.

You mentioned that the boys picked themselves up after the loss to Kerala Blasters FC, but do you think they were lacking something in that regard?

They've been fantastic. In the last week we spent four or five sessions on the training field, which is the first time we've had that time this season. And we've worked on a few things that are going to be useful to us in this game and going forward. So they've been really good to work with and I've seen. It was frustrating tonight. We showed real glimpses of some real good moments, and now it's about consistency and just tightening up those transition moments to make sure that we don't give opportunities to the other teams.

You played Ygor Catatau in the right wing today, are we going to see a change in the starting line-up when Mourtada Fall comes back in the team?

Yeah (it’s disappointing). I think when you miss someone of (Mourtada) Fall’s quality. But I thought that Rahul (Bheke) and Mehtab (Singh) played very well this evening. I mean, Mehtab hasn't played much football at all so far this season. So to step in, I thought he’s done really well.

And (Ygor) Catatau on the right-hand side for us was tired towards the end. But he's only been coming off the bench. So again, it was a chance to start him with Fall not playing. And again, I thought he's done extremely well. He ran out of energy, hence he was taken off at the end. But I was happy with his performance.

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