As his side prepares to take on NorthEast United FC in Guwahati on Wednesday, Mumbai City manager Alexandre Guimaraes spoke positively about the impact that the two newest teams have made in the league. The Spaniard also stated that all teams have been very much level going by the performances displayed so far this season.
“First of all I think that the two new teams have shown that they are good for the Indian Super League (ISL). After the first five games, the scores show that the teams are very equal. It’s a good opportunity for the local players to have more playing time and that changes the game a little bit. I think all of them are trying to improve a lot,” he said.
The Mumbai boss welcomed more time to prepare in the latest edition compared to the last but stated that there was scope of improvement in the scheduling.
“I think having this extended period for practice which we did not have last year is good. I think how the fixtures are scheduled can be improved a little but more,” Guimaraes mentioned.
The tactician did not have any qualms about getting only three days to prepare for Wednesday’s clash and praised the top notch practice facilities at Guwahati.
“We have at least 72 hours (to prepare), the problem is when have less than that. Good thing is that we have arrived two days before and can have a good practice session in good practice grounds given by the NorthEast United. This is usual in football, the problem is having less than 72 hours and having to travel long distances.
“We are happy to be here because they have one of the best pitches I have seen in India. Their fans are fantastic and I look forward to playing here tomorrow,” he explained.
When asked if he was satisfied with the level of refereeing in the league this season, Guimaraes said that the lack of international referees has had a negative impact on their local counterparts.
“For last season, we had a mix of international and local referees in the first half of the season and local referees for the second. This season we have started with local referees and I think that is bad since it denies the local officials to interact with seasoned professionals and learn from them,” he stated.
Guimarãe refused to reveal who will replace Sehnaj for the game on Wednesday. “It’s a long night. I still have to think about that,” he remarked.