Saturday, March 2, 2024

Mumbai look to continue momentum, face Hyderabad


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BAMBOLIM, Jan 15: Enjoying their best campaign so far in the Indian Super League, table-toppers Mumbai City FC will hope to keep the juggernaut rolling when they take on a determined Hyderabad FC at the GMC Stadium here on Saturday.
The Islanders have managed to record eight wins in 10 games and collect 25 points, to sit on top of the table. But it’s the team’s improving performance that matters to coach Sergio Lobera.
“I am very happy with the results so far. It’s very difficult to keep this situation (going) but the most important thing for us is not the table but improving our performance,” Lobera said on the eve of the clash.
The Islanders have scored in each of their last nine games, wherein they also remained unbeaten. Their defence has also been great.
They haven’t conceded any goals against the top three teams in the league. And Lobera credited his players, saying they have given collective performances so far.
“I’m very happy and proud of my players. It’s not easy to implement our style of play in a short time,” stated Lobera. “If we want to win trophies, the level of our Indian players has to be high throughout the season.”
In their previous encounter against Hyderabad, Mumbai had walked away with a 2-0 win.
But Lobera said that this time it will be a difficult game for his side.
Hyderabad’s Indian contingent has been impressive this season and that’s one reason why the club is still in the top half, occupying the fourth spot, despite their foreign players being inconsistent.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a good game. They play a similar style (to ours). They have good Indian players and also very experienced foreign players.
“It’s going to be a different game because they have a full squad now. But the most important thing for us is to focus on our style of play,” Lobera said.
Hyderabad coach Manuel Marquez admitted that Mumbai looked a formidable side in the ongoing ISL.
“Mumbai is of course the strongest team in this league. I continue saying that they will be the champions in the regular season because you know in the play-offs, not always the best team wins.” Marquez said that despite the odds being against them, his team would stick to their style of football. (PTI)


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