I-League: Mumbai FC Clash With Churchill Brothers In A Potential Relegation Decider
Desperate for a fresh start in their quest for survival, Mumbai FC will take on Churchill Brothers at the Cooperage football stadium on Saturday.
Three weeks ago at the Balewadi, a 5-0 loss to DSK Shivajians confirmed a looming relegation battle for Mumbai FC and the sacking of Santosh Kashyap left many wondering whether it was the death knell for Mumbai’s only I-League club.
Fast forward to the present with a new head coach at the helm, Oscar Bruzon exuded confidence at the pre-match press conference as he pondered the circumstances of joining the club with only 4 games to go in the season.
“I took the job because I wanted to. It’s as simple as that. My contract lasts for another 45 days. I agree it’s super short, but that’s the way it is. Still, the fact remains that It’s a project, albeit a short one, and the project has its own set of processes and functions which we must adhere to.”
What does seem fortunate is that he had the international break to recuperate and work with his players mentally. “ We’ve gone through a lot of tactical exercises, played a couple of practice matches and most importantly I was able to influence them psychologically. That’s the most important part. What’s happened has happened. I’m confident, My staff is confident and tomorrow we’ll take the field like the tough characters we are.”
Mumbai FC’s only concern will be the slight knocks picked up by Thoi Singh and Alex Willian. “ As of now, 19 players are in contention on my list. My physio will have a look at Thoi and Alex after today’s practice session and I’ll take a call tomorrow.”
Compared to their counterparts from Mumbai, Goa outfit Churchill Brothers can boast of defeating sides like Mohun Bagan, Kingfisher East Bengal and Bengaluru FC among their recent run of games. Head Coach Derrick Pereira was frank and optimistic as relayed his thoughts ahead of the game.
“ My objective is to avoid relegation. The international break hasn’t broken the momentum we’ve been able to gather. We played a practice match against Dempo, and I’ve to say we looked good.”
Derrick Pereira was sympathetic as he was able to relate with Oscar Bruzon on a professional level. “ It’s a tough job. I was fortunate to take over the team when the season was still warm. It’s a team game, and Coaches obviously need time. It’ll be difficult for them, they’re last on the table, and they’ll have to win everything.”