ISL 2020-21: Confident Mumbai City aim to continue momentum against determined Hyderabad
Mumbai City have managed to record eight wins in 10 games and collect 25 points, to sit on top of the table.
Bambolim: Enjoying their best campaign so far in the Indian Super League, table-toppers Mumbai City FC will hope to keep the juggernaut rolling when they take on a determined Hyderabad FC at the GMC Stadium on Saturday.
The Islanders have managed to record eight wins in 10 games and collect 25 points, to sit on top of the table. But it's the team's improving performance that matters to coach Sergio Lobera.
"I am very happy with the results so far. It's very difficult to keep this situation (going) but the most important thing for us is not the table but improving our performance," Lobera said on the eve of the clash.
The Islanders have scored (17) in each of their last nine games, wherein they also remained unbeaten. Their defence has also been great. They haven't conceded any goals against the top three teams in the league.
And Lobera credited his players, saying they have given collective performances so far.
"I'm very happy and proud of my players. It's not easy to implement our style of play in a short time," stated Lobera.
"If we want to win trophies, the level of our Indian players has to be high throughout the season."
In their previous encounter against Hyderabad, Mumbai had walked away with a 2-0 win. But Lobera said that this time it will be a difficult game for his side.
Hyderabad's Indian contingent has been impressive this season and that's one reason why the club is still in the top half, occupying the fourth spot, despite their foreign players being inconsistent.
"I'm sure it's going to be a good game. They play a similar style (to ours). They have good Indian players and also very experienced foreign players.
"It's going to be a different game because they have a full squad now. But the most important thing for us is to focus on our style of play," Lobera said.
Hyderabad coach Manuel Marquez admitted that Mumbai looked a formidable side in the ongoing ISL.
"Mumbai is of course the strongest team in this league. I continue saying that they will be the champions in the regular season because you know in the play-offs, not always the best team wins."
Marquez said that despite the odds being against them, his team would stick to their style of football.
"We can change some details in our game tomorrow but it's important not to lose our style of play. Of course, we have to make some changes in the line-up but it will be a very difficult game," he said.
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ISL 2020-21: Mumbai City FC's hopes of securing top spot suffer setback after defeat against Jamshedpur FC
This result meant a win for ATK Mohun Bagan against Hyderabad FC on Monday would ensure them of the League Winners Shield and a maiden AFC Champions League spot.
With one last game to go, it's all or nothing for the Islanders. Only a win could see them grab the top spot alongside a spot in the Champions League. Anything less than three points, and that place will be taken by ATKMB.
Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan have both breezed into the playoffs of this season’s Indian Super League. But both teams have a chance to end the league stage at the top of the standings on Sunday