The coach has instilled a fighting spirit in us: Josimar Martins

Mumbai FC’s Brazilian predator Josimar Da Silva Martins has been the difference between Mumbai FC and the drop zone this season, scoring seven goals for the Cooperage club this season and keeping them at a hand’s length from the drop zone in the I-League.

Mumbai FC avoid defeat 75 percent of times when Josimar gets on the scoresheet. This statistic proves how important a role the Brazilian has played for Mumbai FC this season.

Third in the I-league charts of the top goalscorers Josimar was bullish about his abilities when he spoke to us ahead of the Mohun Bagan clash. “I am very happy with the seven goals I scored and help my team steer away from danger. I would have scored more had Taisuke not got injured as he is very important for us to keep the passing going. I believe I can become the top scorer in the I-League if not this season but sometime soon”.

Josimar was fourth in the goal scoring charts last season but just a goal shy of the number one scorer when he played for Mohmmaden Sporting scoring 13 times. The towering centre forward has found it difficult to counter his own growing reputation as opponent teams look to mark him out of the game.

“It’s difficult for me sometimes as I play as a lone striker against two or sometimes three stoppers and opponent coaches ask them to mark me. And at Mumbai I don’t get a lot of service with the way we play and the opponents know most of the time that I am the biggest threat to them, so it’s tough”.

Coach Khalid Jamil has received plenty of criticism and is also banned for unsporting conduct. But Josimar hit out at the critics by claiming that they do not consider the hardships of playing a league in India. “It’s not easy for the players. We play games every three days and have long travels so it becomes tiring for the players. No one falls to the ground purposely. We always fight for every ball, every point and it takes a toll on you. Our conscience is clear”.

Josimar was all praise for coach Khalid Jamil for giving him the freedom and not putting any kind of pressure on him. He lauded the coach’s ability to get the team fighting for every point. “The coach is very good. He has never put pressure on me and gives me the freedom. That helps me when someone understands you well. He is a good coach and has got a fighting spirit in us without which we won’t be where we are today”.

The former Salgaocar striker has enjoyed his time in Mumbai and is in awe with the city’s growing football culture and the Mumbai FC fans which have turned up in large numbers. “I like Mumbai. It is a big city and many people love football over here. The fans are brilliant and it gives us confidence when playing on our home ground”.

The Brazilian has set himself a target of ten goals this season and if he is able to achieve that it will most likely mean Mumbai FC will remain in the I-League next season. “If I can score ten or eleven goals I will be very happy. I want Mumbai FC to stay in the I-League and if these two things happen, then it will be kind of job done”.

Mumbai FC are currently in eighth position and that is something which has disappointed Josimar who felt having one less foreigner has affected the team. “The league position is slightly disappointing and it would be great if we could finish in the top six. I feel having just three foreign players has cost us a bit especially in the attacking department. I would have scored a lot more if had the fourth foreigner”, the Mumbai FC No 10 said.

The striker was full of cheer while speaking about the city and the life in Mumbai and it seems he intends to stay here for a longer time. “I like Mumbai it is a very good city. Maybe I could play for Mumbai City FC in the ISL, you never know”, said the Brazilian with a smile.

Before he could switch the leagues he has been tasked to plot the Leader’s downfall when Mohun Bagan pay visit to Cooperage where they will be particularly wary of Mumbai FC’s tall centre forward who could force them to keep the champagne on ice for a little while.

Boya Pierre echoed this thought in the pre-match press conference yesterday. ”We know they have really strong players and particularly the guy in front is strong as hell and we need to be really careful or else we will be made to pay”.

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