Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham has stated that they have got everybody in a really good space before their all-important first-leg semifinal of the ongoing Hero Indian Super League against Bengaluru FC, which will be played at the Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai on Tuesday.
Mumbai was the best team in the league stage, remaining unbeaten in their first 18 matches of the tournament. Their unbeaten streak was ended by the Blues only as Simon Grayson’s team had won by 2-1.
Meanwhile, the Islanders had thrashed Bengaluru FC by 4-0 earlier in the season and they will want to get the right result on their home turf.
Buckingham has got the best out of his players in his debut season at the helm and the players will want to deliver once again in the all-important clash.
“I see this as two individual games. You have to plan for the 90 minutes you’re about to face. Obviously, we know that the outcome of that 90 minutes could influence the second part, but there’s no point in looking at the second part until the first part is done. So we’ll approach this game in the same way we have done for the other games, which we’ve had two weeks now to plan, prepare and rest and recover. We’ve got everybody in a really good space. We’ll take each game as it comes, the same as we did in the league, but it’s important that we just look at this game in isolation to start with,” Buckingham said in the pre-match press conference.
The English manager added they would look to make the most of their home advantage as they have received a lot of support from their home crowd at Mumbai Football Arena.
“I’ve said this all season, especially not only the home crowd, I think it’s the atmosphere when you come to the Mumbai Football Arena. Fans are a lot closer to the pitch and the atmosphere that is created is very different to the grounds. Not to say it’s better, but it’s very special. And I think anyone that’s come to the ground whether it’s home fans or away fans will say the same and it does have a big impact on what the players feel on the field because we certainly do from the dugouts. Fans are very important and it’s so good to get to play in front of them this season as opposed to what was last year when we were in the bubble. We’re looking forward to a sold-out Mumbai Football Arena to hopefully cheer us on against a very good Bengaluru FC team and one we will be ready for,” Buckingham said.
Buckingham added if the players do the right things on the pitch, they will get a positive result on Tuesday against the Blues.
“We can look at it as they were the team to beat us or we can go back to the format where we beat them at home. We’ve shown that we can stick true to what we believe in the way that we do things over a period of time. Performances firstly, and then you hope that the result follows, we’ve shown that over 20 games, 18 times. That was the case, regardless of the last game, when you put it in context. If we can do everything that we want to do and try to perform as well as we can, we hope that that’s enough to then bring the results as well,” he said.