Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham hailed the work done at the club in the last 18 months that enabled them to win the League Winners’ Shield with an emphatic 5-3 win over FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday.
The Islanders broke records for most goals scored and most points accumulated in a single ISL season to extend their unbeaten run to 18 matches, also an all-time league record with the triumph in Goa and the Englishman expressed gratitude towards everyone at the club who made this feat possible.
“To look back at the 18 games and see the football that we have played, the goals we have scored, the points we have accumulated, the records we have broken and to come here and win the Shield, it’s a huge achievement for everyone involved in the football club be it the players, the staff and the fans,” he said during the post-match press conference.
“I am incredibly proud of what we have done in these 18 games but we still have two very important games left and we want to finish the season strongly,” he added.
Buckingham was visibly emotional after the game as his team sealed a second League Shield in three seasons but found it hard to describe those sentiments in words after the game.
“When you are away from family working on a project and you see people buy into it and see it come to fruition, you see the support in the backend that I’ve had personally and what this group has had which has allowed us to showcase what we have done and what we have built caught me at full time because it’s a big moment,” Buckingham said.
“I can’t explain the emotion which probably sums it up. It just shows the feeling of thankfulness that I have for everyone involved for what we have been able to achieve,” he added.
It was a rollercoaster of a match where Mumbai City FC had to battle their way from behind to get in front before there were pegged back again. It was in the second half that they finally managed to pull away from FC Goa and secure the win.
“The match sums up the way you want to play. Obviously, you never want to concede three goals but I spoke about bringing in an attacking brand of football to this club and building this style which was on show tonight in parts against a very strong FC Goa side who were fighting for points for the playoff spots. They didn’t make it easy for us. But we found a different way to win the game,” the 38-year-old said analysing the game.
Buckingham was also pleased that they could give the travelling fans a big reason to celebrate for making the journey to support the team.
“The travelling fans turned up at our hotel to see us off and they were vocal throughout the game. To give them something to celebrate is great and I’m sure they will enjoy themselves in and around Goa. We are thankful to them and we will hopefully see a few around Bengaluru. We now look forward to playing in our final home game against East Bengal FC in front of a sold-out stadium,” he concluded. (ANI)