Won’t get carried away with recent slump, the focus is on next nine matches: Mumbai City FC’s Des Buckingham

Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham felt his team’s reaction to Bengaluru FC’s opening goal wasn’t upto the mark and it cost his side the match.

The Blues thumped the Islanders 3-0 in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the PJN stadium on Monday with all three goals coming in the first half.

The defeat means Mumbai City FC are now winless in their last five matches and their position in the top four is very much vulnerable. Buckingham however refused to get too bogged down by their recent slump in form and expressed faith in his players to turn things around.

Buckingham addressed the media after the match.

Here are the excerpts from his post-match press conference:

Would you consider this as a game that you were never in from the word go?

No, I think we started pretty well in the first ten minutes. But the reaction to the goal they scored wasn't as it should be. The first half got away from us and the third goal just before half-time knocked the stuffing out of us a bit. I was very happy with the second half. But the first half got away from us and that's where we lost the game.

Two points in the last five matches. Mumbai City FC stands last in the form table. What do you think is the area of concern?

We won't get carried away with where we are right now the same way we didn't when he won five out of six. It's the same group of players and we are very capable of playing that style of football and we did in patches in the second half. It's just making sure that we prepared as well as we can for Kerala Blasters FC as that will be another good game for us to get back on track.

You have almost always talked about the season as a whole but do you think it's time to look at the last five matches and take the positives and move forward?

I think we will take into consideration all eleven games that we have played. We will look at what we have done well and we will try to address the areas that we would need to do well in the next nine games because every game that we got coming up is very important to us now and it's important that we react in a positive way.

The three players that were left out by you were introduced at half-time. Do you think you got the initial team selection wrong?

I think if we had more than two days between games, we'd be able to field the same eleven. But we had two things: look after the players that played the match two days ago, address their well being and make sure they are as fresh as they can be for the game. So that is why we tried to rotate those players for the game and the second reason was to give players from our team an opportunity to show what they can do from the start because they have been coming on and they deserve the opportunity to start and maybe inject some freshness from the start. It wasn't to be and we made the changes at half-time and we were far better balanced in the second half.

You face Kerala Blasters FC next, a team that triggered this unpleasant run for you. Do you think there will be revenge in the waiting?

It's a good opportunity for us to get back on track. We have got some time now before that game to get the players back on the field and make sure we approach that game in the way we want and we are very much looking forward to it.

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