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ISL: We want to stamp our authority over Goa, says Mumbai coach Buckingham

Updated on: 26 February,2022 04:51 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Ronald Chettiar |

With an eye on the playoffs, Mumbai City FC lock horn with a struggling FC Goa in crucial ISL encounter at the Athletic Stadium in Goa tonight

ISL: We want to stamp our authority over Goa, says Mumbai coach Buckingham

Mumbai City FC players celebrate a goal against SC East Bengal recently. Pic/ISL

As defending champions Mumbai City FC (MCFC) enter the home stretch of the ongoing ISL season, coach Des Buckingham is keen to carry the momentum with an eye on the playoffs, as the Islanders lock horns with FC Goa in their ISL match at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa, tonight (Saturday).

With the race for the knockouts heating up, MCFC are placed fourth on the league table with 28 points from 17 matches and look to stave off challenges from Kerala Blasters (fifth with 27 points) and Bengaluru FC (sixth with 26 points).

"We have won three of our last four games, so we want to make sure we carry the momentum in the final part of the tournament. With three games left, we are in a good position on the table. We want to make sure we win maximum points in the upcoming games. But as of now, for us it's about focussing on the next match. FC Goa are a very tough side. They have been playing some fantastic football all season, so we need to be prepared for that," said Buckingham during a virtual interaction on Friday.

Mumbai City FC coach Des Buckingham. Pic/ISL

FC Goa saw a change in leadership when Spanish coach Juan Ferrando quit midway this season. He was replaced by former India international Derrick Pereira and have managed to continue playing possession football.

Buckingham heaped praise on FC Goa’s style of play and said that he will set up a team with an aim to dominate the game while sticking to their style of play. "We know they're a team that like possession. They’ve always been a club that wants a lot of the ball, but we need to be smart about how we need to be set up to press. And then we need to make sure we put our own stamp on the game. We’re also a team which like to have the ball with a team that like to play in certain areas of the pitch and create our own chances. You will hopefully see a game between two teams that will want to have possession of the ball and play a certain style of football, and it will be a fascinating battle between both teams who will try and get control of the game," the Englishman explained.

FC Goa, meanwhile, are languishing in the ninth spot with 18 points  and have nothing at stake, but assistant coach Clifford Miranda is looking to take some positives from the remainder of the season.

"It is always difficult in these types of circumstances when you have nothing to play for," said Miranda. "But this is from an external point of view. If you look at it from an internal point of view, it is important for the club to keep playing like we have always played, to keep fighting whether or not we have something at stake," added Miranda.

Watch FC Goa v Mumbai City FC match on: Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 Bangla at 21:30 hours on Saturday


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