U Mumba got the better of Tamil Thalaivas by a 36-22 scoreline in the final game of their home leg at the Dome@NSCI SVP Stadium on Thursday. Representing U Mumba at the post-match press conference were captain Fazel Atrachali and coach Gholamreza Mahmoud Mazandarani whereas coach E Bhaskaran answered questions for Tamil Thalaivas.
Q: You won four games in your home leg. What do you have to say about your six games in Mumbai?
Gholamreza Mahmoud Mazandarani: Firstly, I would like to thank everyone that came out to support our team. We could have played better than we did but I’m happy with the way we played. Our form is good, and the people are supporting us so it’s a good feeling.
Q: What was your strategy behind taking Siddharth Desai off early today?
Gholamreza Mahmoud Mazandarani: Siddharth Desai was making a comeback after an injury. I think he needs more time to recover. He could have continued for longer, and he played better today than yesterday, but I feel he will be a 100% ready before our next match. We need him to be fully fit for our next match against Gujarat Fortunegiants.
Q: What is your message to the U Mumba fans?
Fazel Atrachali: Firstly, I would like to thank all the fans for their continued support. They gave us a very good feeling every time we stepped onto the mat. I have nothing more to say. Their support reflected in our victories, so I would like to thank all the fans once again. Without the fans, the sport is nothing. The players really like it when they know they have someone cheering for them, so the fans play a very important part in the game. It is a dream for all foreign players to play here because of the support we get from the fans.
Q: Are you happy with the way your backup raiders have stepped up since Siddharth Desai’s injury?
Gholamreza Mahmoud Mazandarani: We are having a good selection headache because we have four to five very good raiders. They are all playing well, and it gives the team management a good feeling when we are spoilt for choice while choosing our lineup.
Q: Where do you think your team could have done better today?
E Bhaskaran: U Mumba played a very controlled game today and didn’t give us an inch. We made mistakes at crucial junctures due to the pressure they put on us and hence we lost the game. We were not able to follow the strategies we had set during the game. Our raiders were getting tackled on the first raids instead of the third raids. We expected a better performance from our backup raiders Sukesh Hegde and Athul MS.
Q: Was there any strategy in keeping Jasvir Singh on the bench and not starting with him?
E Bhaskaran: We included Athul MS today because of U Mumba’s defensive strategies. We had chances to get more bonus points with the way their defence plays, and Athul MS is better at getting bonus points than Jasvir Singh, so we started with him. He is tall as well and can make good use of his height to get those bonus points. But, unfortunately, he got out when we didn’t need him to.