Ahead of their first game of the 2022-23 season of the Indian Super League (ISL), Mumbai City FC skipper Mourtada Fall said that the club is in a better place than it was 12 months back.
Mumbai: Ahead of their first game of the 2022-23 season of the Indian Super League (ISL), Mumbai City FC skipper Mourtada Fall said that the club is in a better place than it was 12 months back.
Indian Super League season kicked off on October 7, 2022. Mumbai City FC are set to play their first game of the 2022/23 ISL campaign against reigning champions Hyderabad FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports complex in Pune.
The Islanders take on Hyderabad FC in a much-anticipated clash on October 9, 2022. Mumbai City FC’s Coach Des Buckingham and club Captain Mourtada Fall in a virtual press conference spoke about the preparedness of the squad and the ISL season that is on the horizon.
In the press conference coach Buckingham spoke about the team’s preparation going into the first game of the new ISL campaign as he said, “We wanted to start the 2022 Durand Cup in the same way we finished the Champions League in terms of how we played. We are in a much better place than we were 12 months ago.
We have had eight weeks of pre-season. We have also had seven competitive games at the 2022 Durand Cup, in which we performed brilliantly.”
“We have been able to get some good minutes into all of our players over that period of time, so in terms of preparation and making sure we are as prepared as we can be during that time. I am very happy with the club and what we have set out to achieve this year. I believe we can be as successful as we want but the first thing, we have to make sure of is that if we approach every game as well as we can and if we do that, we will put ourselves at the right end of the table at the right time of the year.”
Des went on to add, “We have a very hungry group of players here at the club. We have added some other players into that group that you see and they are very keen to add to our playing style, add to the way that we want to continue trying to win games.”
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Club Captain Mourtada Fall also spoke about how the players have been improving over the course of not only the pre-season but the last 12 months as the towering defender said, “I think all our players are really good players. Players that have improved a lot over the last few years or months, especially the Indian players that have been playing with the national team.
I sit down with a lot of the young players and try to help them with my experience to make them a little bit cautious. Also, they always are looking to work on themselves to improve. So, I think they can do a fantastic job in the upcoming season. I think we have gelled well as a squad; we can do the job and will be targeting the double this season.”
Coach Buckingham went on to talk about how important a factor the crowd returning to the stadiums is as he expressed his delight, “It is now about becoming used to going back to what football used to look like with the crowds in the stadiums.
We had 15,000 to 24,000 people in the stands for a couple of the games in the Durand Cup which was surreal. So, when you get that energy from the stadium and from those fans, whether it is creating goal-scoring moments or saves in matches, it certainly has an impact on the game itself, the tempo of the players and their energy levels.”
Des Buckingham signed off by saying, “Certainly the excitement from the touchline also increases, so it is one thing we are very much looking forward to. If as a squad we can showcase and match the energy of the fans on a consistent basis, we can make sure our fans go home happy and so do we.”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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