Mumbai City FC have had a promising season so far in the Indian Super League, as they are now in the 2nd place after bagging 11 points from their first 7 games. The Mumbai fans are indebted to new coach Alexandre Guimaraes and marquee player Diego Forlan for their current success. Alexandre Guimaraes has already made Mumbai City a formidable team, but is hoping that they improve with each passing game in the second half of the season. Speaking about the business end of the season, Guimaraes said in his recent conference: “We used it [the break] to recharge our batteries. Everybody knows that we have a tough schedule. We have three or four regulars injured. So we took our time to help those players recover. We also tried to introduce other ideas and plans for the second phase. So I think the break came like a blessing as we had time to be at home, to recover, to practice, taking our time, knowing we don't have to hurry, and like I said, recharging our batteries." He continued to speak about the importance of improvement in the squad, saying: “Every game is different. I don't know how many chances we can make tomorrow. But what I'm sure of is that our players are becoming clearer about the philosophy and the way we have to play as per what opponent we're facing. Home or away, we're showing our play game by game. I'm waiting to see which players are available for tomorrow. Some of them are still recovering. I hope I can have eighty percent of the team fit and ready for tomorrow."
“I think all of us start the season thinking of a range of points to get into the top four. But as the games go on, the league shows us that this season to go to the top four maybe we'll need around two or three points fewer [semis qualification points from the last two seasons], we're in the right direction. We're aiming to take points. It's very important to take points.” he added on. Mumbai City FC don't really have the best of records against their next opponents in defending champions Chennaiyin FC, but Guimaraes believes that times are changing as he said: “First of all, our squad is totally different from the last two seasons. I don't think I have any player that has this memory. It's a different situation. We know that we're going to play against the champions, who have been working with a philosophy and a set of players for more time than us. I feel that we're doing well and we have to keep doing well to pick points from here.”
Marquee player Diego Forlan has been instrumental to their success so far, as he has contributed to their 3 wins and is a vital part of the team as Guimaraes praised him by saying: “When Forlan plays, he usually scores or assists. When he plays, the other teams are more aware and have more focus on dealing with him. When he plays, the TV ratings sky up. When he plays, the stadium turnout is better. When he plays, our players feel better. What else can you ask of a marquee player?" When asked about the threat and unpredictability which Chennaiyin FC bring with themselves, Guimaraes explained, "Football is always unpredictable. However much you try to dissect, it always comes as a surprise. You never know. That is what is good for football. If you can predict everything, it becomes very boring. In our case, we try to alert our players about their capacity of play, their fighting spirit and about the atmosphere."
He continued, "What I've seen here with the crowd and the stadium is that it's a good atmosphere to play in. We know there are a few players who're not going to play, but like we showed in Kolkata, there are a few guys waiting on the sidelines for an opportunity to show that they are there. I hope that happens against Chennaiyin as well.” Guimaraes will be hoping that Mumbai can continue their impressive away form and claim all 3 points against the defending champions to continue striding on towards ensuring the top 4 spot.