Navi Mumbai, Nov 26 (IANS) Following his team’s poor run in the second season of the Indian Super League (ISL), which has left them with almost no chance to qualify for the semi-finals, Mumbai City FC marque-player-cum-manager Nicolas Anelka admitted that he might not return to the tournament’s next season in 2016.
The hopes of making it to the semis were all but shattered for hosts Mumbai after they played out a 1-1 draw against visitors Kerala Blasters FC here on Thursday. Striker Antonio German scored the equaliser (89th minute) for Kerala, much to the surprise of the home crowd, after Spanish midfielder Juan Aguilera opened the scoring (25th) for the hosts.
“Our target was to qualify for the semis this season and as we are not in a position to qualify. So I don’t think if I will return to ISL next season. But you have to speak to the owners for details about this,” Anelka said at the post-match press conference here. With the draw, Mumbai are struggling in the seventh position in the standings with 13 points from 12 games, having won three, drawn four and lost five.
After being a player in season 1 for Mumbai, the French footballer took an added responsibility this season to manage the side, but with the current season coming to the end in a few days’ time, the 36-year-old believes it was a tough and difficult job for him altogether in ISL 2. “It was a difficult job for me this season. I don’t want to blame anyone else for this. It is hard when you pick fingers at anyone. We are all responsible for the loss,” he said.
The former Chelsea star striker pointed out that despite putting in their best effort in the pre-season, the team failed to perform and injuries were one of the main factors. “We can’t win by winning just a few matches. Minimum five to six matches must be won. We worked hard in the pre-season but couldn’t deliver in the matches. This time we had a talented squad but we couldn’t do well,” Anelka said. Mumbai, after drawing their last match at home, will travel to Chennai to face Chennaiyin FC on December 1.