Mehrajuddin Wadoo will be looking to make his seventh start of Hero Indian Super League 2016 when Chennaiyin FC host Mumbai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Wednesday. The 32-year-old full-back was also a regular starter for the defending champions last season and has enjoyed a good start to Hero ISL 2016 with five blocks, five interceptions, seven successful tackles and 23 clearances in six matches so far. He has also scored once this season and has shown plenty of invention in attack as he bombs forward on Chennai’s right hand side at every given opportunity. Wadoo spoke to indiansuperleague.com ahead of Wednesday’s match against Mumbai and shared his thoughts. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Three Draws, two wins and one loss in your six games. How do you rate this season so far? What’s the mood in the camp like?
The results could have been better. We have not performed to the level we can reach but overall the mood in the team is good and everybody is constantly learning and improving. We want to improve on results, try to reduce the mistakes and make the semi-finals.
You have been Chennaiyin’s captain for a few games this season. How has that helped your game? Is there any added pressure?
Firstly, I think it has been an honour to be able to captain Chennaiyin and no, it is not any extra pressure but it does give me more responsibility on the field. Football is not like cricket where a captain has to take all the decisions while playing but we have to try and play together as a team. Hopefully, I get the chance to lead the team again.
As a defender, how has the experience of playing under Marco Materazzi been?
It has been great to be playing under Marco. It has been two years, last year and now. He has a certain style and he interacts with the players on what to do during the game and not just defenders but everyone. But yes, I have learnt a lot from him and I think I just try to play well and not make any mistakes.
Chennai play Mumbai on Wednesday, a team against whom you’ve won four times. Will that encourage the players or will it just be another game?
No. Every game is different and the players will certainly not look at the past. Past is past and we will focus on the game. They have improved this season and we are all looking forward to the game tomorrow. Of course, we will look to try and win at home and get all three points.
Any message for the fans of Chennaiyin…
Oh, they have been great. Even last year when the city was affected by floods they came to watch the game in the stadium. This year they are coming in large numbers and it is good to see. I hope we can win tomorrow for them.