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ISL: "We want to play expansive football and we are willing to take risks," says Des Buckingham

Mumbai City FC Head Coach Des Buckingham shared his views on his team's performance after draw against NorthEast United.

ISL 2021-22:I think in the first half we were exceptional, says Mumbai City FC Head Coach Des Buckingham

ISL 2021-22:"I think in the first half we were exceptional," says Mumbai City FC Head Coach Des Buckingham


Kumar Rohan

Published: 28 Dec 2021 12:25 PM GMT

Des Buckingham, the head coach of Mumbai City FC, was disappointed with the way his defence was breached in counter-attacking situations as his team was held to a thrilling 3-3 draw by NorthEast United FC in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match on Monday evening at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.

Deshorn Brown's hat-trick for the Highlanders was cancelled out by Igor Angulo's brace and Bipin Singh's lone strike as the teams drew 3-3.

During the post-match press conference, Buckingham spoke to the reporters.

The following are some quotes from the press conference:

On Playing First Draw of the Season in a Physically Intense Match

This was Mumbai City FC's first draw in eight games after having five wins and two losses in the first seven. This was also a very physical game for both teams. Talking about the result and the nature of the game, Des said,

"As you said, it was our first draw, and I thought we controlled the game for large periods. But what they did was they hit us on the transitional moments. I feel the first goal was at least five yards off-side. And then we need to defend better for the second two (goals). So yes, we want to play a certain way and they have demands both physically and otherwise. But when we attack, we also need to make sure that we are set up defensively."

On Defensive Errors From His Players

Mumbai City FC have recently suffered a lot defensively. They lost their previous game to Kerala Blasters FC by 0-3 and conceded three goals against NorthEast United FC today as well. Conceding six goals in two games is not a sign and Des kept his views on the same. He said, "I think in an ideal world, you wouldn't want to concede any. That's not football, the way we play and the way we want to play is expansive. We create width and we create length. And it does put the ball at risk at times, but we're willing to put the ball at risk if we're defensively set up when we have those moments."

He further added, "And there were key moments tonight, whether it's decisions or it's just, I'm not sure what it might be, but just making sure that we are defensively organized even when we have the ball, just in case we lose it. So we make sure there are no chances for the opponents easily."

Lacking Something Lately

Des was asked if his players are recently lacking something as they are playing well but they are not able to win the game. To this, he replied,

"They've been fantastic. In the last week, we spent four or five sessions on the training field, which is the first time we've had that time this season. And we've worked on a few things that are going to be useful to us in this game and going forward. So they've been really good to work with and I've seen."

He added, "It was frustrating tonight. We showed real glimpses of some really good moments, and now it's about consistency and just tightening up those transition moments to make sure that we don't give opportunities to the other teams."

On Missing Mourtada and Playing Catatou on Right Wing

Mumbai City FC missed their Captain Mourtada Fall today after he picked up a red card in a previous match against Kerala Blasters FC. Ygor Catatau, who is a striker, started in place of him on the right-wing as Mehtab Singh filled in the defence alongside Rahul Bheke. Talking about this, Des said, "It's disappointing. I think when you miss someone of (Mourtada) Fall's quality. But I thought that Rahul (Bheke) and Mehtab (Singh) played very well this evening. I mean, Mehtab hasn't played much football at all so far this season. So to step in, I thought he's done really well."

He further added, "And (Ygor) Catatau on the right-hand side for us was tired towards the end. But he's only been coming off the bench. So again, it was a chance to start him with Fall not playing. And again, I thought he's done extremely well. He ran out of energy, hence he was taken off at the end. But I was happy with his performance."

Mumbai City FC play Odisha FC next on January 3rd and Des will be looking to get his team back to winning ways in the new year. They still sit on the top of the table by the way.

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