THOUGH THEY ARE AT THE TOP of the table, a semi final berth is not assured to them yet. Mumbai City FC will be looking to gain maximum points from the upcoming game against the defending champions.
Knowing the team is in a strong position, Mumbai need one more win to get a foot in the semi finals. Guimarares,speaking to reporters, on the game at home against Chennaiyin FC said,
"We are on the way. We know that the first goal of any organisation is to understand the players. From the beginning, we have been talking to the players about things and itâ€™s good to have so many points with two games still remaining. Whether nineteen points are good enough or not, we will try to gain more points from the last two games and thatâ€™s our objective for tomorrowâ€™s match"
Continuing on the subject of Chennaiyin FC, Guimaraes continued,
â€œFirst thing that comes to my mind is that we have to play better than we have played so far to try to win the game tomorrow and put ourselves in a good position but we saw Chennaiyinâ€™s game against Kolkata and we know that they are still in the race and they are very tough. They are champions and the champions always like to fight till the end, and thatâ€™s the kind of game Iâ€™m expecting tomorrow.â€
Chennaiyin, currently seventh position will land in the first four slots with a win tonight. Speaking to the press before the game, Materazzi shared,
"Yes, we have performed well but the opponent goalkeepers have also performed well against us. As a team, I feel we are playing better than last year because last year we had great individual players like Stiven but we have done better as a team overall. It is unfortunate but we could have had more points than we have now and I am pretty confident that we can still qualify for the semis as no team has qualified till now and it is still an open raceâ€
Materazzi, on the side's chances to make it to the top four said,
â€œâ€¦Since football is no science or maths, I hope we can try and collect as many points as we can and you know once you qualify for the semis, then everything starts again. In the run we had some injuries with Maurizio Peluso and some crucial players who could have made a difference for us and if we manage to make it to the semis we will have crucial players like Peluso and Jeje back and we will have a fresh start.â€
Guimaraes, on the question of the attitude the defending champions would be bringing to the pitch on the night, replied,
â€œI think they have already showed their different approach of offensive game against Kolkata and they have good players, strong players up front, so we have to maintain our concentration defensively like we have throughout the season and we can expect a much more open game than the one we played against them at Chennai.â€
The Chennaiyin Head Coach, believes his team have performed fairly well in the league and continued in his comments saying,
â€œOther than the games against Delhi we have shown a good attitude and spirit towards the game. Like in the first half against Kerala in Kerala, we could have finished off the game by scoring one more goal, and in the game against ATK, we could have gone on to win the game as we were dominating in the second half. Also, against Pune we gave away a free kick and against Mumbai we could have again closed the game, so we have wasted some points but our attitude is still good. Last year also things were tough for us but we will continue to fight,â€
The Costa Rican, Guimaraes, who has played with Goian in Chinese Super League, spoke high of the defender and the team's defence saying
â€œIâ€™m glad he has been playing very well, I know he is a very nice player because he was there with me in China when I used to work there, so thatâ€™s why I recommended him to the club. His commitment to the team is fantastic, his leadership with the local guys at the defence is also great and he is helping the local guys and showing them how to play. This is one of the aims that we have when we bring such kind of players to a new league, all the younger footballers watch and learn which is really good,â€Â
CFC Coach Materazzi shared his policy and reasons for picking Mendy over Riise saying,
â€œYes, there is a reason I have chosen him as captain over my marquee player. He has got a good attitude right from the first season. I choose players who deserve to play and Mendy over the three years has really shown that he deserves to play and if he will keep on performing he will continue playing for me and if his attitude changes, then he will not play, but as I said before he has always shown the right attitude, effort, and spirit.â€
Mumbai City has plenty of options to try out in the forward line. Apart from the last game, Mumbai have not scored too many goals. To this statistic, Guimaraes expressed his view saying,
â€œYes, there is a reason I have chosen him as captain over my marquee player [John Arne Riise]. He has got a good attitude right from the first season. I choose players who deserve to play and Mendy over the three years has really shown that he deserves to play and if he will keep on performing he will continue playing for me and if his attitude changes, then he will not play, but as I said before he has always shown the right attitude, effort, and spirit.â€
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