The Mumbai City goalkeeper, one of the best in the league, gives his opinion on why many goalkeepers have committed errors this season…
Mumbai City custodian Amrinder Singh was happy with the the way Mumbai City FC fought till the end while conceding that it was injuries that eventually led them to slip out of the top-four spots.
The Islanders, under former coach Jorge Costa, were in the reckoning for their second successive semi-finals appearance in the ISL for the first time but failed to make it to the play-offs after suffering a defeat to Chennaiyin FC in a do-or-die clash.
“Of course we had injuries in between (Paulo Machado, Serge Kevyn, Amine Chermiti etc) but I am happy that we fought till the last moment. It was very difficult without key players,” Amrinder told Goal.
Injuries to Serge Kevyn, Moudou Sougou and losing influential midfielder Paulo Machado for a large part of the season proved detrimental to Mumbai’s plans.
“With the improvement in the ISL over the years, the last season was very tough and we faced very good players and we fought until the last match in the season. Another positive sign in our team was that, despite the injuries, we always remained positive which is something we should take pride in.”
Amrinder has been with Mumbai City over the last three years and is considered one of the main contenders to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s throne as India number one.
Speaking about the growing competition with Gurpreet ever since, Amrinder said, “This is a good thing for both Gurpreet and me, as well as Indian football. I think the competition is healthy. It a good thing that we give each other competition and I am also happy to force him to improve himself.
“We are good friends off the field and we often talk over the mistakes we make and how we can improve. We don’t hide the things that we face on the pitch in order to help each other improve.
“Other than our own competition, especially in the national team, several junior goalkeepers who upcoming are also forcing us to improve and step up our game.”
The recently concluded ISL season has witnessed a goalkeepers committing a fair few mistakes. Amrinder, however, feels that pressure and lack of rest between the games is contributing to the same.
“I think everyone has the pressure to improve themselves and keep their level and the ISL is not an easy league. Mostly ISL games happen in quick succession as well. So we have to remain physically as well as mentally prepared for each and every game,” he stated.
Mumbai City chose to operate with only one foreign stopper back in Mato Grgic last season – a decision which did not help the team in the long run with Jorge Costa forced to field an all-Indian backline on many occasions due to injury issues for Grgic. However, Amrinder has whole-heatedly backed Indian players who have stepped up and performed in such situations.
“I have been here for three years. Everyone’s mentality has been very good. In football, players keep on moving from club to club and we have to be prepared for these types of situations. Mato performed very well last season. You have seen how the Indian players have also improved and so many players have made it to the (Indian) national team.
“I think that this is a very good sign that Indian players are stepping up their game. Since the ISL has begun, they have played along-side quality players, their reading of the game and decision making has improved.
“Indian players are also maintaining themselves very well as professionals. The junior players in the national team are also taking their roles very seriously. So these small things count for a lot in the improvement of Indian players,” he concluded.