With the Indian Super League title eluding them for last five seasons, Mumbai City FC are gearing up for yet another challenging season and are hoping to make it to the top four.

Skipper Paulo Machado said this year he expects the team to make it to the finals, and they have more players to choose from this time around.

“This season, we expect to be in the top four again. We will have a better team and we will see [the performance] when we start [the campaign],” the central midfielder from Portugal told reporters in Mumbai. “To win the title, you must reach the play-offs, but for us the most important target is to be in the top four, then everything is possible.”

Last season, Mumbai’s blistering campaign ended in the semi-finals after an heartbreaking loss to FC Goa. The Gaurs were runners-up, losing to champions Bengaluru FC.

“This pre-season, we were strong and different from other teams because we worked almost for two months,” said the skipper.

Mumbai’s star player Modou Sougou, who netted 12 goals last season, said that in football the past does not matter.

“If you compare the last season with this one, all the teams are better, and so many teams invest to have better players, that is why the season will be difficult,” the Senegalese player said.

“We have more balance in the squad. For us, our first target is to be in the top four and after that let’s see what happens,” he said.

Indian national Rowlin Borges, who will be donning the Mumbai jersey for the first time after spending three seasons with the Northeast United FC, said he was giving his best and expects to deliver for the team.

CEO of the franchaise Indranil Das Blah said the goal was to move two steps ahead than the last season, and win the trophy.

The club played five pre-season games and will start their campaign with a game in Kochi against Kerala Blasters on October 24.