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We have an upper hand after beating Haryana twice this season: U Mumba coach E Bhaskaran

WITH FOUR WINS on the trot U Mumba is clawing their way into the Playoffs. On the eve of their all-important clash against Haryana Steelers, Coach Bhaskaran talks to us about U Mumba's turnaround, Anup's captaincy and their clash against the Steelers.

On U Mumba's turnaround:

3 of our starting 7 players were injured initially and the team was struggling with form in the beginning. But that changed when the younger defenders who came in as the replacements, started to settle in and come in to form. In the raiding department as well, Kashi and Srikant started to peak at the right time with Shabeer making his comeback through a few important performances. Anup has always been there as a strong player and a great captain. All these factors came together and helped the team regain its rhythm.

On Anup's captaincy:

I have always told Anup to be on the mat for as long as possible as that is most important for him to lead the team. Everyone knows him to be a great raider but sometimes its more important to be a leader, to bring the team together and guide them - and that's what Anup has been doing this season. The team is fairly young and so his leadership makes a very big difference. Also I wouldn't say he has let his captaincy come in the way of his performance because whenever the team has needed him, he has performed. But like I said earlier, this time he has played a bigger role in making the team play as a unit, which was very vital for us in terms of performance.

On playing the Haryana Steelers:

We play Haryana tomorrow, and having defeated them twice before I think we do have an upper hand. However, they have been playing really well so I'm certain that tomorrow they will also bring their A game. I believe we have become a stronger team and hopefully our performance will reflect the same.

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