Versatile Ashutosh Mehta – An ace in Khalid Jamil’s pack

Football is a team sport but there are always individuals who steal the lime light. Sometimes it so happens that the brightest of talents fail to click as a unit but sometimes there are cases when the unit’s value in totality is greater than the sum of its parts.

When you look at Mumbai FC, the latter part of the above sentence seems truer than ever. Khalid Jamil has built a well-oiled machine at Cooperage, which despite being devoid of big names is putting opponents to the sword especially at home.

But to every good recipe, there is a secret ingredient. And to Mumbai FC, there is a versatile Ashutosh Mehta.
Right back, Right Wing and Center Midfield. Ashutosh Mehta has appeared everywhere for Mumbai FC this season, often being Khalid Jamil’s go-to man in tricky situations.

Speaking to Football Counter, Khalid Jaiml’s trump card Ashutosh Mehta has revealed how his coach’s faith helped him ease into different positions in the team. “I have the coach’s confidence which keeps me comfortable in any position. There are things that I am asked to do so I try to keep it simple as possible. Also being mentally prepared helps me”.

Ashutosh Mehta’s versatility came to Mumbai FC’s rescue against Royal Wahinngdoh when Mumbai FC trailed the then league leaders by a goal at half time. Khalid Jamil’s side had been overrun in midfield in the first half.

Jamil pushed up Ashutosh who played at full back in the first half, in midfield leaving his back three to deal with Wahingdoh’s lone striker. Ashutosh’s presence in midfield turned the tide Mumbai FC’s way as they rallied to down Royal Wahingdoh 2-1.

Ashutosh enjoys the versatile tag but given a choice Ashutosh likes being out wide. “I feel good when people call me versatile. I am comfortable playing where the team needs me. But I enjoy playing on the wings”.

Come the next home game against the Champions, Ashutosh started the game where he fancies himself the most which is on the right wing and turned provider for Josimar’s equalizer as his side battled to a point against Bengaluru FC.

Ashutosh Mehta was delighted to see his club back in the city where he grew up to be a footballer. “Playing at home with your home crowd really helps me and the team. When people cheer you it keeps you going throughout the 90 minutes. I feel good and would like you thank the people of Mumbai who come and support us every time”.

With another game on the horizon, Khalid Jamil has kept everyone guessing how he would use Ashutosh who is proving to be an ace in his pack. But Ashutosh is looking forward to the game after disappointment in Mumbai FC’s last game. “It was a bad day at work against Salgaocar. But in football, on a given day whichever team performs well wins. The league is still young and we have a long way to go. Today’s game is very crucial and the team is fully prepared for the challenge”.

Talking of confidence, it is something which Ashutosh Mehta has got in abundance. Ashutosh credits a lot of it to his stint at FC Pune City in the Indian Super League.

“My journey with FC Pune City was really good even though we didn’t make it into the last 4. We had a camp in Italy which has helped me grow as a player. I feel more confident when I go out to play now”.

The Mumbai FC player has a big fan base in the stadium every time he takes his guard at Cooperage and it’s only fair he has at least as many fan clubs as the number of positions he could occupy on the football pitch.

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