Mumbai FC coach Khalid Jamil confident on his squad that has potential to go the distance

Khalid Jamil

Mumbai – 24 October, 2014 – An exclusive Pre-season interview of Mumbai FC Head Coach, Khalid Jamil. Read a transcript of his interview below:

Khalid Jamil

Khalid Jamil

On his aims for this season…
We want to play really well. The squad that’s being assembled has potential to go the distance. It’s a competitive and compact squad.

I don’t believe Mumbai FC should be a mid-table team. Due to many factors we haven’t been able to perform as well as we would’ve liked, the biggest reason being that we haven’t played a home game in 4 years. We belong higher up the I-League table and hopefully we will also challenge for major honours this season.

On his new signings…
We roped in some pretty good and proven players. It’s been a very active transfer season for us. We have strengthened in all positions. With the likes of Josimar and Taisuke in our squad we already feel really strong.

Obviously, we are still in the market for a few more players. We hope to secure the remaining signings as soon as possible. I am also happy about the fact that we have retained a good core of players for so many seasons.

Things to learn from previous seasons…
It’s different every year. The number of teams always changes, sometimes the schedule changes. I have learnt to adapt to these situations. Of course I wish it wasn’t so different every year but it’s not really in my hands.

One thing that I have definitely learnt is that it’s really difficulty playing all matches away from home. It affects the performances, the training & increases costs unnecessarily. I hope we can play at Cooperage this season. It’s essential for us to play there.

On existing injuries in the squad…
Everyone except Collin is fit. He is recovering really well from a knee injury. I expect him to get back to full fitness only in December.

On his team’s mentality…
I can’t really judge the mentality yet. Pre-season has just started. The players first need to settle down. Also, the squad isn’t complete yet. A couple of players are yet to come and there are still some players I am looking to sign. But yes, I do hope that the players are psychologically strong.

I haven’t really had to worry about such a thing in the past. I have always had a mentally strong squad and I don’t think it’ll be any different this season.

On his Formations and Tactics…
I will be fielding the players in a 4-3-3. But I need my entire squad with me first. I need to test out a few things before I come to a conclusion.

Youngsters to look out for…
There are a lot of good players in the U19 team. One of the players that I really admire is Girik Gosla. He has been here for a long time now. He was playing under my guidance in the U15 squad few years ago. He alongwith a couple of other players shined in the I-League U19 last season.

On the Mumbai FC Grassroots project…
it’s a very important initiative. Grassroots football is something that needs to be given a lot of importance, especially in a country like India who is lagging behind in the FIFA rankings. I am proud to be part of this project.

This will also help the club in the long run. The final products in the form of players that will come out of such Grassroots centers will get a chance to perform for our youth squad and as the years progress they may even be part of the senior team. It will help us become sustainable rather than depend on signing most new players from outside the club every season.

On having a strong coaching staff in Kundan Chandra, Abdul Siddique, Henry Picardo and Subrata Dasgupta…
True, they are an experienced group of coaches. Henry has been with me since the start. He knows how I operate and we both share a great understanding with each other. Abdul, Subrata and Chandra have joined in just this year and they have been really supportive in all activities of the club.

On who will be the Club captain…
We’ll decide that once the full squad is available.

On the upcoming MDFA Elite Division League…
The game against Kenkre will be really tough. They are one of the I-League 2nd Division sides alongwith PIFA Colaba and Air India playing in this Elite League. It provides my boys a good opportunity to get a pre-season run in. These Elite Division games will help the team gain necessary momentum and will help build an understanding with each other.

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