ISL 2017-18: Mumbai City's Alexandre Guimaraes - Have to be alert with Iain Hume

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The Islanders will look for another three points on home soil when they take on Kerala Blasters...

With 14 points from nine games, last season's semi-finalists Mumbai City FC's are one place below the top four spots in the 2017-18 Indian Super League (ISL) at the mid-way mark.

As the Ranbir Kapoor co-owned side host Kerala Blasters, coach Alexandre Guimaraes was confident that his side can eventually progress to the knockout stages. "I am confident that we have that resources and players to fight and be in the top four," he said.

"Our first goal has been accomplished in finishing the first half of the tournament very close to top four which puts us in a good situation to compete. We hope the home games now can help us to get closer to our final objective of top four. Kerala have won an important game away which makes them alive and puts a warning for us that we can't give chances to them to get closer to us."

"I was curious to see that game we played at Kerala and how we have developed since then. I believe we have developed a lot since our first game. I'm sure tomorrow (Sunday), we will do a good game in the way like we have done recently. Kerala have a good defensive line, let's see how we penetrate," the Costa Rican said on the eve of the game.

Kerala Blasters won their first game under new coach David James against Delhi Dynamos earlier this week. Guimaraes pointed that the addition of Keziron Kizito has revitalised their squad.

"A new coach came and that usually shakes the players. Sometimes they are unaware of how the new coach will be with the squad. Their new foreigner (Keziron Kizito) has aggregated their game. A team who comes here is energised as it isn't easy to win here. They're going to come with plenty of confidence and so are we."

He asked his side to keep an eye on Iain Hume, who scored a hat-trick in their last match.

"Iain Hume has more playing time now. We have to be very alert with him," said the 58-year-old.

Mumbai City have only four matches scheduled in the month of January and the former Tianjin Teda boss welcomed the fixtures with a smile.

"Now we have a period of long practice time. I'm optimistic about it. This will help us to insert more information to the players in terms of performance especially for February which is a tough month for us as we don't have a break period like this in that month," he commented.

While he kept mum when asked about the standard of refereeing in the ISL, he disclosed that Raju Gaikwad's medical report will arrive on Sunday and Aiborlang Khongjee has resumed training with the rest of the squad. 

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