Goa: In-form Mumbai City start favourite as they take on Jamshedpur take on Jamshedpur in the Hero Indian Super League at the GMC Stadium here on Monday,
After starting the League Season on a losing note, Sergio Lobera coached Mumbai city bounced back with four straight wins impressive performances to be the table-toppers. Lobera’s focus will be on ensuring that this winning run continues.
It is not just that the results have gone Mumbai’s way — their performances have been consistently impressive as well, across all areas of the pitch. No team has scored more (8) or conceded less (2). And unlike some teams, Mumbai haven’t been dependent on one player for goals. They have had four different scorers already.
But, despite all this, Lobera believes there is a long way for his team to go. “We need to improve a lot of things. We won four games in a row and that’s not easy. But we need to improve a lot of things, day-by-day, in every training, game-by-game. But in these circumstances, we only have a short time,” he said.
“We need to go step-by-step. Our focus is on the future, on the next game. But I’m happy with the players with the effort they have put in the last game,” he added.
Mumbai have no injury concerns but they will once again miss the services of Mandar Rao Dessai, who missed the previous three games due to personal reasons. The full-back is yet to join the squad after leaving the team’s bio-bubble.
On current form, any team would be wary of taking on the Islanders but Jamshedpur coach Owen Coyle has every right to be a bit more optimistic than the others in the league. Jamshedpur faced Mohun Bagan when they were on a similar run and came away with all three points. Coyle hopes his team can come up with a similar performance.
“They’ve (Mumbai) been in good form. I think they have won four in a row. What we have to do is what we did against Mohun Bagan who were top of the league, undefeated and hadn’t conceded a goal (when we faced them). We have to give that level of performance,” said Coyle.
Coyle will once again be banking on Nerijus Valskis upfront with the striker having scored five of their six goals so far.
Jamshedpur are already six points behind Mumbai and have had three draws in their last four games. However, Coyle believes that things are slowly falling into place for his team. “We’re four games unbeaten. There were a couple of games where we felt we should have won. So we are in good form. We just have to continue working hard. We do have a number of injuries. Once we get our best team, we’ll be even stronger,” he said.
—ISL MEDIA TEAM