Following the release of Santosh Kashyap after a twelve-game winless streak, Mumbai FC appointed Spaniard Oscar Bruzon as the new gaffer of the metropolis outfit. In an exclusive interview with Goal, the 39-year-old talks about the current scenario of the club and his plans for the last set of fixtures in India's top-flight league.
The Mumbaikars are cemented at the bottom of the table following a disastrous run of results this season. Kashyap's failed stint has put the Maharashtran side in a critical stage. The newly appointed manager knows that his job won't be easy but feels confident on facing the battle.
''The job shall be challenging but football life is about playing every weekend and winning. I can say that success in life is for the brave, and courageous people. I think my personality fits in the same. We are now rebuilding the team and focusing on the next game. The next tie is against Churchill Brothers and it’s going to be a crucial one for us,'' he voiced.
The Essel Group-owned side will need a revamp to proceed towards positive results and boss Bruzon has framed ideal proposals for the lads. He claims that the team needs to undergo rational amendments along with some strategic changes.
''The plan involves a lot of psychological work. Of course, I shall make some tactical modifications. Also, finding the proper mix in the line-up is essential. We have a lot of players, currently 28, however I wanted 22. But, I need to be flexible as well. I need to select the best players and ones that are really ready to fight for the team. It’s going to be a huge task for us but Mumbai FC is a traditional club of India and we (Mumbai FC) are going to fight for it,'' he asserted.
The new manager received a warm and hearty welcome from the club supporters and team management which has boosted his morale. Also, he believes that the fact that their remaining games are on home soil shall heavily benefit the team.
''Since I arrived in the city, I have been feeling the support from the managers of the club and also the fans. I can say that the Yellow Brigade was very close to me, sharing good words and I believe they are also excited to see the new Mumbai (team). And having all the remaining games at Cooperage has a lot of importance, indeed.
"This is why, this week, we are planning to undergo as many sessions and friendly matches as possible, at Cooperage, to get used to it. We shall try several modifications and see how it works until 8th April- this is our final of the World Cup!'' remarked the former Mumbai City FC assistant coach.
Further, Oscar discussed his preferred style of football. The Vigo-born manager is a believer of ball control throughout the 90 minutes however, for now, he would be happy with any system which assures him full points.
''I’m Spanish, I come from a generation where football is all about having control of the game. You can state it as possession football. But for now, the only football I like is the kind of football which will make us win three points!'' exclaimed the ex-Sporting Clube de Goa gaffer.
The 39-year-old commenced training with the squad on the very day of his arrival. Talking about the mood in the squad, he stated that the players are ecstatic and are actively involved in rebuilding the team. Bruzon mentioned that the team has been watching videos to assess their gameplay.
''The mood in the camp is fantastic. We are trying to fix things slowly. We need to get back the confidence of players. We are playing a lot of videos of ourselves, our rivals, some La Liga teams and some tactical principles that can be implemented in the team. We are putting a lot of efforts and the players are understanding it well and responding to it, too,'' he commented.
He also disclosed about the injuries in the squad and mentioned that foreign assest Alex Willian Silva is suffering an injury in the calf. However, the manager expects the Brazilian attacker to recover by the following week. Also, it was noticed that Manipur-born midfielder Thoi Singh was sidelined in the practice match against Mumbai's reserve team. The medio is believed to have injured his right leg.
''We are dealing with some injuries. Alex Willian Silva is training apart from the team. But I am hoping by next week, he should be joining the group. He is facing a calf injury,'' Oscar revealed.
He mentioned that he has been examining his own team's performance and also the rivals in their run-in to avoid relegation. He said, ''I have actually watched a lot of matches of Mumbai FC. I have also seen the last five games of our next four rivals. The club is using one very professional technology which is helping us.''
Lastly, debating about what needs to be worked upon in the team, the previous RCD Mallorca assistant explained that the team needs heavy improvement in the defense first and then needs to enhance their attacking forces.
''We are conceding a lot of goals, so I think we need to find a balance between scoring goals and not conceding. If we are conceding two, three goals a game, then it will be impossible to win. So, the first thing we need to do is focus on the consistency in our defense. Once that is done, we shall start building our attack,'' he signed-off.