Guimaraes: We are going to fight till the end

With Bengaluru FC the next team to visit the Arena, Alexandre Guimaraes is hopeful of a fighting show from the Islanders in tomorrow’s game.

Here’s what the General had to say as he faced the media in the pre-match press conference today.

On the home form this season & tomorrow’s game..

I will say it again – I have been watching the boys play game after game to determine their performance and development and we can see that the team is continuously growing. Yes, there are cases where our performance on the pitch doesn’t match with the result. Now we know that just days after our last defeat, we have to stand up again and fight. This league is extremely tight. The team that slows down now, is finished. We are not going to slow down. We know that until the 3rd of March, we have chances of being in the top 4 and we will fight with all our resources till the end.

On the approach for tomorrow’s match..

 In our first game against BFC, we had too many situations that weren’t in our favour and moreover, they deserved to win. But after that game, I think, we’ve developed a lot and we can see that on the pitch. Like I said, sometimes the result doesn’t match with the performance on the pitch and that’s what happened in our last game against KBFC. But the development we’ve seen since our opening day fixture has certainly made Mumbai City FC a competitive and a respected side in the ISL. We will keep going.

On the mood in the dressing room after the defeat to KBFC..

Sometimes, when you lose because of certain decisions, of course it’s hard to sleep, it’s hard to not think about it twice the next day, it’s hard to not open the newspapers or media, it’s very hard to avoid all this. But, it’s something that you have to deal with it. I told the boys, it’s the past. Unfortunately, some situations happen which we cannot control but we have to look forward and play our best to win the game tomorrow. No competitor likes to lose because of such factors, but it happens.

On playing the AFC Cup next season..

That is the objective, right? To win the ISL and qualify for the AFC Cup. The players want to play in such a big tournament too. But first, we have to think about the immediate target, the top 4, and for that, the game against Bengaluru FC.

On the Indian strikers, particularly Balwant Singh & Sunil Chhetri..

From my experience, in other Asian countries apart from India, I can say that it’s not easy to coach & find strikers with the characteristics that Indian strikers have. Balwant (Singh), Sunil (Chhetri), Jeje (Lalpekhlua), (CK) Vineeth, etc. have impressed me a lot & Indian football has something that the coaches like – good strikers. I think that in our case, Balwant is having a fantastic season for us & it’s good for him because he understands his role in the side very well. He has been doing well for the National Team as well and it is very good for Indian football to have these type of players.

On Davinder Singh & his impressive performances..

Davinder (Singh) has been impressive since we handed him a debut in Kochi. He’s a very tough defender with good acceleration & speed. He knows that he is starting his career now and the kind of game time he’s getting early on in his career is tremendous for him. We are very glad that we picked him in our squad this season & we are sure that he has a good future ahead of him.

On the injury concerns in the side..

Raju Gaikwad has recovered after missing the previous game. The doctors have made him available and we’ll see if he plays.