Mumbai FC’s winless run in the I-League continued as they slumped to yet another defeat, this time at the hands of Aizawl FC. Khalid Jamil’s team managed to do a double over the Mumbai outfit, who are now in the eighth position on the table.
Santosh Kashyap was questioned as to why Mizoram’s Lalchhawnkima wasn’t handed a start while Clyde Fernandes was substituted in the 26th minute.
“Lalchhawnkima has just recovered from a long term injury and was unfit to start. We gave him rest and he will play him in future games. Clyde's substitution happened because of the U-22 rule. He is a left back actually and he impressed me in practice. However, he couldn't do what I needed him to do despite me being confident and this was a tough away game. But that is okay,” explained Kashyap.
Mumbai FC had as many as six defenders in their starting eleven but Kashyap reasoned that he fielded his best eleven as opposed to opting to be defensive.
“No, I want to go for the best line-up. I have previously played in a similar system but I like my defence to be strong. My attackers have very poor defensive quality. I want my defence to be strong but I like to play attacking football. You saw six defenders but all were not defending. Even Clyde was attacking,” he mentioned.
Kashyap has reiterated time and again that Mumbai FC’s target this season is to finish in the top three. However, they find themselves in the relegation zone with trips to Mohun Bagan and DSK Shivajians next.
“It's (top three) like a dream now I believe. Aizawl game is tough for away sides because of the travelling and high altitude. Yesterday, we were stuck in traffic for four and half hours because of a festival. So, fatigue takes place and we were supposed to train at 2 pm but started at 4:30 pm. I believe we tried hard. In the second half, we created 12 chances and football is about scoring goals and we couldn't,” he elucidated.
Thoi Singh was substituted after a listless performance and Kashyap shred his reasons for the same.
“He couldn't do much. He did well but today he was upset and missing passes because he is playing continuously and this happens to players sometimes.
“The players are very much under pressure and ninth place is not good. I am still building the team. My team is not fit. But the players are joining. Baljit (Sahni) played his first game. Thoi joined our team straight after marriage,” he pointed.
He was however, gracious in defeat by congratulating Aizawl FC.
“Congrats to Aizawl! This was such a swift game and what a crowd! They deserved to win the match,” he signed off.