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ISL 2019 EXCLUSIVE: 'No star players, season will be tougher than last,' says Mumbai City FC striker Modou Sougou

ISL 2019 EXCLUSIVE: No star players, season will be tougher than last, says Mumbai City FC striker Modou Sougou

Prachyaprachetah Sarkar

Published: 24 Oct 2019 4:49 AM GMT

Pape Amodou Modou Sougou aka Modou Sougou became the joint second highest goal scorer in the Indian Super League (ISL) last season scoring twelve goals out of his eighteen appearances for the Mumbai based outfit Mumbai City FC. The 34-year-old Senegalese striker has joined the Islanders on a second stint and is one of the major foreigners in the league to keep an eye on.

The Bridge interacted with the star forward ahead of their first game of the season against the mighty Kerala Blasters. The number nine speaks about his reason to rejoin Mumbai, his expectations from the season and many more. Following are excerpts:

The Bridge: How do you feel after returning back to Mumbai City FC on a second stint?

Sougou: I feel very happy because here I feel like I am at home. Last season was very good for all of us. I received calls from other teams but wanted to come back to Mumbai. It's very important to feel at ease and work with people who like you and that's why I wanted to come back here.


The Bridge: Is it Jorge Costa factor that made you choose MCFC once again?

Sougou: I wanted to join Mumbai because of Jorge Costa last season and he is still the factor. However, I feel at ease here and therefore Mumbai City FC is the second factor for me as it's my second home. So for me, the opportunity to work with Jorge Costa and Mumbai City FC are the factors.

The Bridge: Sogou, you have been the highest goal scorer for the Islanders last season and were also the second-highest goalscorer of the Indian Super League. How do you want to maintain your performance for the team?

Sougou: I think last season all of us came up with a good performance. Our objective was to be in the top four and that's what we did. But unfortunately, we could not play the final. But that's in the past now. As we played well last season, doesn't mean that this season will also be easy for us rather I think it will be tougher. We have to continue to work hard and work as a family and then we can expect to achieve something. We don't have star players in our team thus all the players are important and all need to work equally hard. We have talents and I am sure we can utilize those as a unit and make something to grab success on the pitch.

Also read ISL 2019 EXCLUSIVE: Udanta Singh — Catching up with his pace, BFC’s Asian dream and more

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The Bridge: In the previous season you reached the semis and the squad this time has got a good balance. What are your expectations with the team this season?

Sougou: Let's see, how we start this season. I can tell you how we played in the preseason games. We are doing well in the practice and the bonding is growing deep as we are playing together. I have great expectations from the team this time. As we have the motivation to at least earn the playoffs. But everything will come step by step. The league is short there are ten teams and we don't have so many games. So every game is very important. We have to start well against Kerala and have to show our personality on the pitch.

The Bridge: You will face Kerala Blasters for the first match of the season what’s your take on the match?

Sougou: I think the game will be a very competitive one. Kerala has a good fan base and their stadiums are always full which will turn things tougher for us to execute. On the other hand, they have a grabbed a continuity with their new coach and the strikers, it's very good for them. However, we will do our best to turn things towards us. We played well there last season as we took one point. I think we have to start with that spirit as we are going there with a lot of motivation this time.

The Bridge: Sogou, what's your message for the Mumbai City FC fans?

Sougou: We should be having our stadium full to the capacity. I would like to tell the fans that if you are a fan of Mumbai football you need to come to the stadium and support the team. We as players need to see the people the crowd on the stands. Only a message on Instagram is not enough. The fans should watch us play and cheer for the team with the Islanders. I believe the players and fans together can do something special for Mumbai this season. Because the team belongs to all the 22 million people who live in Mumbai.

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