ISL 2018-19: Jorge Costa - My players deserve to top the table

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Jorge Costa Mumbai City FC ISL 5
The Mumbai gaffer believes that the Islanders played better in the away tie in Bengaluru ...

Mumbai City FC replaced Bengaluru FC at the top of the table and handed Carles Cuadrat’s men their first defeat of the season in the Indian Super League.

Paulo Machado's strike in the first half was sufficient, as Mumbai’s sturdy defence prevented penetration attempted by the visitors.

Mumbai boss Jorge Costa was delighted with the result but wants his team to focus on the remaining five games.

“It’s true that we are on top of the league. This is very important for us. But we still have 15 points to fight for and we will keep working for it. It was an important game against one of the best teams in India. They have some really good players and no team had defeated them until now. So, we worked hard to beat them.

“I am happy with the way we played and achieved the three points. In my opinion, this is a fair result. We deserved to win and now it’s up to us to keep it,” the Portuguese said.

The pair played out a 1-1 draw in Bengaluru earlier this season and Costa believes that performance was better, despite what the score-line suggests.

The Islanders boss said, “In my opinion, we played better in the away match. We played almost half the game with 10 men and we had a lot of opportunities to score. We don’t change our style, whether we are up against Bengaluru, Goa, Pune or Kerala. We always try to get all three points – sometimes we win and sometimes we don’t.

Modou Sougou Mumbai City Kerala ISL

“These guys work very hard and they deserve to be on top of the league. We have to be serious and give our best every game. We are not the best team in the world, but we play as a team.”

The 47-year-old praised Modou Sougou’s performance against Bengaluru. He expressed no concern over the fact that Senegalese was caught offside very often and maintained that that is exactly how he wants his forward to move.

“I spoke with the player (Modou Sougou) after the game. I’m not a doctor. But he told me that he was tired. There was a difference in how he plays normally and how he played today. He created a lot of space today.

“I’m not concerned about Sougou being caught offside a lot and I have told him that. If he’s offside 10 times, he’s one-on-one with the keeper during the 11th time. This is how I want him to play. I want him to ask the ball at the back of the defence. Sometimes he’s offside and sometimes he isn’t. He’s so fast that it happens sometimes. But it’s okay, this is what I want,” Costa concluded.