ISL 2015: Mumbai FC Will Face Tough Challenge Against Pune City, Concedes Anelka

() franchise Mumbai City FC player-cum-manager Nicolas Anelka believes their match against rivals on October 5 which is considered to be a derby clash will be a tough and a hard game.Mumbai-Pune-ISLMumbai and Pune face-off in their first match at the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex in Pune.

“Game against FC Pune City will be a hard game and a tough one. It will be an important game for us and we will look to give out best and win it,” Anelka, who was just a player in the inaugural ISL season before taking up an added responsibility of managing the Mumbai side, told reporters here.

“I had a bit of ISL experience last year. It was important because it was important to know the players very well. Managing the side and playing is not at all easy. If I am playing, I will give my best. If I am at the bench, I will do my best as a manager. Sometimes I will play and sometimes I will not play,” he said.

Taking about the combination he has upfront with likes of Sunil Chhetri, Andre Moritz and Sony Norde, he said: “It is good to have star players. It will be good to rotate players and sometimes play all of them. I am happy with the strength of our squad and I hope they will do well in the matches.”

Asked about what would be the combination like when the Indian players will be leaving for national duty, the former star said: “We have quality to fill those gaps. We have players to replace them.”

Anelka believes the pre-season training in Dubai was a much needed one and the squad is well shaped ahead of start of second season.

“We are in good shape. We had a good pre-season in Dubai which was a much needed one. We won a couple of matches and lost one. It was quite a test for us,” he said.

You don't have permission to register