With the much-awaited season opener against Kerala Blasters FC, our head coach, Jorge Costa attended the pre-match press conference along with goalkeeper Kunal Sawant, fulfilling the media duties.
Here are the key takeaways from the press conference:
On the new players and foreign attackers in the squad:
JC: This is the reality, don't forget that we had an unfortunate big injury to our Indian striker, Alen Deory. He has a lot of quality but this is the reality. The good thing about my team is that in the other positions, fortunately, I have Indian players with a lot of quality.
It was not easy for us to sign the players because our budgets are not very high like other sides but we have very very good Indian players in almost all positions at the moment.
On Kunal’s stint with KBFC and MCFC:
KS: I was KBFC before, Graham Stack was the goalkeeper back then. At Mumbai City FC, we have Amrinder who is one of our captains. I am fighting for my place and will keep trying. We always play as a team and I am waiting for my chance to come.
On Rowllin Borges and the qualities he adds:
JC: I am delighted to have Borges on my team. I’m sure there were other sides who wanted to get his signature but I am happy he’s with is. Rowllin's a player who will be important for us, he’s a different type of player, someone we didn't have last season.
On the fixture list:
JC: It was like this last season as well. I am here to improve my players and my team. You will never see me finding any excuses but yes, it's true that they (KBFC) don't know what we can or cannot do but we have seen them play already.
But on the other hand, they are starting their season with 2 home games and we are playing 2 away games. That's why all the coaches have to find a way to do the things well, this is the reality and we must respect the fixtures.
On having two Indian NT midfielders in Raynier & Rowllin:
JC: Last season, we played most of the games with Indian midfielders too, with Sehnaj, Milan and Raynier also. And we have Borges this time.
Things don't change much for me, I have a lot of options. I don't have just 11 players, I have 25 players and I trust all of them. It will be difficult for me to sleep, I have to select 11 players tomorrow and it won't be easy. All the coaches love having options.
On KBFC’s new-look squad and coach
JC: We cannot compare their team to the one last season. About their first game, it was not a wonderful game, it was a very good game, I watched KBFC play but it was not a surprise.
We know the players are new but I know this coach (Eelco Schattorie) because he was there last season. I am not saying I can predict the result tomorrow because that’s impossible. But what will happen in the game on the pitch, I don’t think it will be a surprise for me. It's going to be 11v11, no matter what happens in the result, it won't be a surprise for me.