Mumbai: Mumbai City FC (MCFC), after a none-too-impressive previous season, sounded upbeat Monday ahead of the new season of the Indian Super League (ISL), their confidence boosted by their good pre-season outing in Thailand under new coach Jorge Costa.
Head coach Costa said the team still has a lot of work to do and will initially aim to make it to the top four.
“The pre-season was good. We played four games and won three and drew one (in Thailand). We are far from perfection and have a lot of work to do.
“We have 9-10 days for the first game and hoping that we can give a good response in the first game,” he told reporters at the ISL Media Day here.
“We are on the right way to do very good things,” Costa declared.
Last year, MCFC put up a disappointing show and stood seventh on the points table.
This season, they begin their ISL campaign against Jamshedpur FC at the Mumbai Football Arena in suburban Andheri on October 2.
The new head coach said the aim was to first to make it to the top four (the tournament has 12 teams).
“All the others (other coaches) they have the same expectation — to finish in the first four. Also, I have the same (goal).
“I don’t know whether we can do it or not, but we will fight in every game for the three points and try to finish in the first four,” Costa, a former Portuguese international player, elaborated.
According to Romanian Lucian Goian, who has been retained as central defender for the club, the dream of the teams players is to win the trophy.
“It is time to bring the trophy to Mumbai. This is our and our fans’ dream,” Goian said.
“We had a good pre-season (outing). “We are a new team, but we are a good family and I hope to be ready for the first game against Jamshedhpur,” he added.
Mumbai City FC’s custodian Amrinder Singh said coach Costa has brought the team together which was missing in the past season and there will be more “focus on the defence”.
“Ever since we started the pre-season, the coach has kept the team together as a family. Last time, something like this was missing. I am happy this season and we will do well,” said the 25-year-old custodian.
The fifth season of the ISL will kick-off on September 29.