Mumbai City FC, languishing at the seventh spot on the Indian Super League (ISL) league table after managing only four points from as many fixtures, are now set to take on Delhi Dynamos on Saturday.
They were outclassed in their previous match 5-0 by FC Goa and coach Jorge Costa blamed poor finishing and lackadaisical attitude of his players for the same.
"We made a lot of mistakes that is why we were struggling. The first half (against Goa) was very good. The players did almost everything that I asked. We pressed high and won the ball. We had clear chances to score and a lot of them. But we made mistakes," Costa lamented.
"In the second half, for first 20 minutes, it was not bad. Then, we gave up. That is why I am sad. Not because we lost 5-0 but because in the last 15 minutes we saw a team waiting for the game to finish. They were not running, not focused on the game. They gave up.
"We must respect first our job. Second, we must respect the work (not clear). Third, we must also respect the fans and we cannot give up. Even if you think it is impossible to change the things, you have to be serious from the first minute and fight till the last second. What happened in the last 15-20 minutes, I was ashamed because they gave up. As a professional football player, you cannot give up," blasted the coach.
The former CFR Cluj coach defended his decision to use Subhasish Bose as a centre-back rather than his usual left back position and refused to single out Bose for the 5-0 drubbing.
"I don’t know if I will change tomorrow. I must see how the players recover. But I also have a lot of options and I am trying to make the best of it. In the last game (before Goa), we won 2-0 and he had a very good game. We did not lose 5-0 because of Subhasish. It is true he made a big mistake but he alone is not the reason for our loss.'
He also revealed that first choice goalkeeper Amrinder Singh is yet to recover whereas Matias Mirabaje remains doubtful.
Mumbai have not been able to keep up the tempo for the entire 90 minutes and have especially struggled in defence during the last quarter of games. Costa refused to accept that his team switches off in the last 15 minutes.
"The first thought that comes to my head is to finish the game after 75 minutes. In the first game we conceded one goal in the last few minutes when we were playing with three defenders. We were losing 1-0. So we took some risks and conceded in a counter-attack. And the last game I already explained," concluded the coach.