Following their victory against NorthEast United FC, a high-spirited Mumbai City side will now face Delhi Dynamos at their home soil this weekend. Delighted with the victory, coach Alexandre stressed the need to keep the winning momentum flowing.
"The reaction of the players was very good in terms of getting up after the loss against ATK at home. The win that we got has put us back in the league. We have to play with a lot of seriousness and focus and I hope we learn that as the games go by. For us, it is really important to make it two wins in a row,’’ he commented.
Due to injury concerns and suspensions, The Islanders have had to rotate their squad heavily throughout the season. On being asked if the Costa Rican coach has found his perfect blend of players, he answered, ‘’Like last season, we're trying to get most of the players involved and are trying different combinations to produce something different."
"In our case, we have tried different kinds of combinations especially from midfield to offence- sometimes playing more direct, sometimes with more intentions to play on the flanks and sometimes playing more inside. As soon as we can get the consistency to try to win back-to-back, then we can try to figure out that this is the situation we always want.’’
Mumbai City’s defensive line has seen the likes of young defenders Davinder Singh and Abinash Ruidas this year. Speaking of their performance, the 58-year-old applauded their form with a special mention for former ATK player Ruidas.
"We are trying to give chances to young players because that is important for Indian football. Davinder (Singh), (Abinash) Ruidas and Pranjal (Bhumij) have played some minutes. Ruidas has been around from the beginning and he’s getting better. We know that he has had to adjust his defensive posture. Last game he attacked well, playing first like full-back and then like a winger. We are happy as games are going on, he is improving,’’ he expressed.
Further, Guimaraes had words of praise for Lucian Goian who has been the most productive defender in the league so far. At 34-years-old, the Romanian is showing no signs of ageing in his performance according to the coach. ‘’Lucian Goian is a player that I have known for a long time as he played for me at Tianjin Teda in China. I know very well what he is capable of. He’s much more focused in terms of maintaining his performance for the others to play with him. I’m very glad as he is a very good professional and shows that age doesn’t matter by playing like a young boy,’’ he said.
Lastly, the coach assured that the Mumbai-based outfit will not take Delhi Dynamos lightly as the opponents are also very much in need of the three points. ‘’We have to understand that each game is different. I know that tomorrow Delhi Dynamos will come here to fight very hard because they cannot afford to lose as it will be very difficult for them to recover. We are sure that we have to show seriousness and focus without underestimating anyone,’’ he concluded.