Pune, March 10: DSK Shivajians will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Mumbai FC in an I-League football clash here on Saturday.
Shivajians lost by a last minute goal to surprise league leaders Aizawl at home and with one point separating Shivajians (7th with 11 points) and Mumbai (10th with 10 points), the Dave Rogers coached side would aim for nothing less than a victory.
“It is always a pleasure being here (in Pune) and it will be an exciting match,” said Mumbai coach Santosh Kashyap. “I think, we are in the same boat. Both teams have struggled to get results, struggling to get a win,” added Kashyap. Also read: I-league: Minerva Punjab FC aim to thwart Aizawl FC at home
Rogers said “DSK Shivajians were a new team and we are in a period of transition to take the club forward in a different direction. I cannot criticise my players. They are creating chances; we have dominated games we have played in, playing good attacking football. Apart from luck and killer instinct in front of goal, we would be much higher up the table.”
Mumbai have scored just eight times in the 13 matches so far, to which Kashyap said, “As I believe, every I-League club in India depends on foreigners to score the goals.
“So in our process, we got these players registered late, and I had to believe in Indian players.” Also read: Bengaluru FC lock horns with Mohun Bagan in I-league
Steven Dias was announced to lead the Mumbai team before the start of the campaign. But with an injury-hit season and lack of chances the veteran winger will have to prove himself again.
“I have not played many matches this year. I want to prove myself with the chances I will have,” said Dias.”
On injuries and suspensions, Rogers highlighted the importance of Sasa Kolunjia to the side. The Shivajians manager appreciated the Serb’s performance against Aizawl during last Tuesday’s 1-0 loss.
Rogers added, “It is great to have Sasa back and Kim Seong-Yong’s injury is long-term. I will make the final decision on my starting XI only tomorrow.”
While Mumbai will be without Thoi Singh, who has not travelled with the side to Pune and is struggling with a knee injury. “Alex (William) has a groin injury. So will take a call today. Steven (Dias) is back,” said Kashyap.
“This is a derby game. I am looking forward to welcoming the side. It should be a good and entertaining game,” Rogers said.