"We'll take it one match at a time!" - Santosh Kashyap

Sunday, 08 January 2017
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Mumbai FC

Mumbai boss expresses his views ahead of the derby opener against DSK Shivajians.

 Aayushman Narayan, Mumbai FC Media (Sportz Dose)

Santosh Kashyap is well familiar with the obsession that Mumbai FC supporters have. “I know Mumbai very well. I started coaching the Mahindra youth setup when I started my coaching career. Of course Mahindra couldn’t continue, bad decision I believe for Indian football, but these things aren’t in my control. I continued from Mumbai at Air India and ONGC, before moving out for other challenges. Of course its a great honour and pleasure being the Mumbai manager, I played here as a player too, at Mahindra and a couple of matches for India as well. The club management have been really supportive of me, my target for this season, as I’ve told before is to finish in the top three teams.”

Mumbai FC finished fifth last season and it remains the best position the club has achieved. “ The club management decided to opt for a new direction this season onwards. I don’t think we‘re in transition, rather it’s a new beginning. The previous manager Khalid Jamil, I believe did a great job. His objectives were clear, that was to help Mumbai stay in the top flight, and he did it. The responsibility I’ve been bestowed is different. I’ve a clear vision and long term goals. However we’ll take it one match at a time, and my attention is completely focused for tomorrow’s derby against DSK.”

Indian football professionals have had it rough for a couple of years. “The players have been exposed to many tournaments, and hence different coaches. Hence my greatest challenge has been to mould the entire set of players I’ve to play according to my philosophy. Nothing difficult, my players are intelligent, they can adapt.”

Mumbai have a complete roster of Indian nationals. The absence of foreign nationals looks stark as compared to other clubs who have strengthened in that department. “ I completely believe in my players. Of course we’ll be getting foreign recruits of our own. Negotiations are still on, and in the final stages. We’ll make an announcement soon, probably sometime next week.”

The I-League season begins with the Maharashtra derby. “DSK is a strong side. They have one of the best setups in the country. They have invested their money in the right resources, and it bodes well for them. It’ll be a competitive game tomorrow, and we’re counting on our supporters to help us get over the line.”