Confident Mumbai City FC geared up to achieve first away win
Mumbai, 8 November 2014: Mumbai City FC would look for their third consecutive win and the first on the road when they take on bottom-placed FC Goa in the inaugural Hero Indian Super League at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Sundayafternoon.
The team, owned by Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor and Chartered Accountant Bimal Parekh, has managed to string in two impressive performances to jump to third spot in overall standings after six matches and is looking to consolidate the position even further.
Though the margin of victory in the last two games was just 1-0, Coach Peter Reid would be extremely happy with the way the team performed as a unit in those games after some indifferent performances in the initial few matches.
With results being key to success, the Englishman has understandably compromised on the attacking flair and adopted a more compact strategy where the defence and midfield concentrates on suffocating the opposition and then kicks off a counter.
While this has meant that Mumbai City FC, which fielded the same starting XI for the last two games, hasn’t boasted of the same kind of possession that they enjoyed in the initial matches but that should hardly worry the team management.
The major area of concern for Reid and his support staff would be the fitness of skipper Syed Rahim Nabi, who limped out of their last game against Delhi Dynamos FC and has not travelled with the team to Goa, while it is still unclear when marquee signing Freddie Ljungberg would be available for selection after his hamstring injury.
On the positive side, midfielders Andre Moritz and Jan Stohanzl have formed a formidable partnership with Frenchman Nicolas Anelka with Subhash Singh impressing with his runs from the right flank.
Mumbai City FC vice captain Manuel Friedrich praised the atmosphere at the grounds they have played so far and said he was overwhelmed with the support the league has got so far.
“Playing in India is very different to playing in Germany or England. Here the supporters create a great atmosphere and enjoy the game irrespective of which team you are representing.”
“The ISL is a major step towards making football the second biggest sport in the country,” said the German, who insisted that the team was focused on making it to the semifinals and the final in the inaugural edition.
“Be it the Indian players or foreigners, all of us are focused to taking the team to the semis,” he added.
Coach Peter Reid called for consistency from the team and said it was time they won matches on the road.
“We need to be consistent and need to win matches away. Our squad is shaping up well and you will see many more youngsters making an impact soon,” he added.
Nicolas Anelka has found the net in both the previous games at home but even he would admit that there were more chances that went a begging. If Anelka and company can find that touch which would convert their probing runs into goals, FC Goa could well be in for a torrid time on their home turf.