The Islanders will take on FC Pune City at the Arena in a crucial second Maharashtra Derby of the Hero ISL 2017-18 season. 3 points is what the General, Alexandre Guimaraes has in his mind.
Here’s what he had to say in his pre-match press conference yesterday.
On the fight for a top 4 spot..
AG: The race for a playoff spot is still wide open. The other results in the week ensured of that. In our case, our only focus is getting a good result against Pune (City). This last week, I’ve told the players about the task at hand and they understand the situation. This game is a good chance for us to continue our fight for a top 4 spot.
On MCFC’s chances after the week’s results..AG: It (FC Goa’s loss) definitely has opened up a possibility for us. But first, we have to win our own games. We want to continue the way we’ve been playing in the last two games. We need to convert the chances we get tomorrow against a side that is also close to their objective. They will put the pressure on us but we know we have to control the game. We’ve had a good week of training behind us and we’re ready.
On the home form..
AG: We’ve been creating plenty of chances – it’s not about that. We just haven’t been decisive enough in the final third whether it be a pass or a shot. It was a little different in our away games – we’ve taken our chances well. Tomorrow, it will be difficult. We might not get too many opportunities against a tough side, but we need to convert the chances we create.
On Balwant Singh..
AG: He’s been extremely productive for us. Yes, sometimes a player does have a bad night and it’s unfair to point it out and dwell on it. His temperament is incredible. Balwant has been counting the hours from our last game and he’s raring to go tomorrow.
On preparations for tomorrow..
AG: We’ve had a 10-day lay off. That’s given us good training time. We’ve trained well, particularly to face Pune and we have our plans in place. This week has been extremely productive in that way.
On injury concerns..
AG: As usual before lunch (tomorrow), we will know how the situation has been with some players during the week. We managed to give them some minutes during the practice, will hope that it can be worth it.