EX-OXFORD United coach Des Buckingham is preparing to take charge of his first competitive game with new club Mumbai City.

The 36-year-old, from Cowley, was appointed head coach of the Indian Super League champions last month.

They begin their defence of the title against Goa on Monday afternoon (2pm GMT).

Buckingham moved to India from fellow City Football Group club Melbourne City, where he won the A-League Championship last season.

Read also: Des Buckingham reflects on 'special' title win in Australia

But he will spend the ISL campaign in a bio-bubble in Goa to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Buckingham told the Free Press Journal: "In an ideal world, everyone would love to be back in their own homes with their families and back to the areas they represent, so we would love to be back in Mumbai.

"But we are not in a normal world as of now. We are in Goa, we are in a bubble.

"For me, coming in as a coach, it's unfortunate not to experience India for what India is.

"What it does do in a bubble is give us a lot of time to spend with the players.

"It is a very controlled, closed-gate environment with our staff, players, and hotel people."

Buckingham helped Melbourne win their first A-League title in May, before securing a maiden A-League Championship the following month.

He started coaching at United aged 18, overseeing the rise of Sam Long and Callum O'Dowda, before joining Chris Wilder's first-team staff in 2013/14.

Buckingham then enjoyed a highly successful spell with New Zealand's age-group sides.