Mumbai: Boosted by their first win this season against Salgaocar, a confident Mumbai FC will take on table toppers Royal Wahingdoh in the I-League football match at the refurbished Cooperage ground tomorrow. The emphatic 3-1 win over Goa’s Salgaocar last Friday was the shot-in-the-arm for Mumbai FC after a string of three losses and one draw in the league.
The Shillong side, promoted this season to the elite division, will be a tough nut to crack, conceded Mumbai FC’s coach Khalid Jamil today. “They are a strong side and are table toppers. We have to be very alert. Our concentration should be higher. Yes, the victory over Salgaocar has boosted our confidence but we have a long way to go in the league,” said Jamil.
While praising his defense for holding the strong Salgaocar attack at bay in their previous game, Jamil said, “We have to be more organised in our defense tomorrow. We have done well in the last two (home) games (which included a drawn match against Sporting Clube de Goa).”
Under-23 player Jayesh Rane played a stellar role in the game against Salgaocar, but Jamil was cautious in praising the youngster and said, “He has to play better tomorrow.” Wahingdoh’s coach Santosh Kashyap, who knows the venue like the back of his hand, said he had not put any pressure on his team and that has helped it a lot.
“To be honest, I did not expect us to be on top. I just told them to enjoy and give their best. I have made the team pressure-free,” said Kashyap about his team’s spectacular run of four wins, one draw and one defeat so far.
Kashyap said he was concentrating more on the team’s recovery process after having played two games in Pune and Goa over the last eight days. “We are improving in every match. I am very confident of getting a positive result,” Kashyap, whose team had defeated Mumbai FC in the Federation Cup earlier this season, said.
The team will miss injured defender Govin Singh while midfielder Jackichand Singh, who scored two goals in the Federation Cup encounter, is recovering from a heel injury, according to Kashyap.