Mumbai City manager Nicolas Anelka in an extraordinarily long pre-match conference in Chennai took his time to quash the rumours of controversy

The second edition of Hero Indian Super League has already seen three teams confirm their berth in the semis and Chennaiyin FC, who lead the race for the fourth spot, will look to increase their advantage with a victory over struggling Mumbai City FC.

The Super Machans seems to have found their form back, as they routed their previous two opponents but suprisingly in the absence of their marquee player Elano, who has struggled this season. On the other hand, Mumbai City FC has been struggling with a six match winless streak and have the least possibility among the four teams chasing a spot in the semis.

Mumbai City manager Nicolas Anelka seemed to wash off his hands in the pre-match press conference, as he reiterated the fact that he signed only three players among 26 and that was the prime reason behind Mumbai Citya s failure this season.

a When I signed as manager, we already had somebody who took care of the signings, so I was unavailable to bring many players a only three out of 26. So it was difficult. If I had chosen the players, everything would have been different. but I came here and had to believe in the players they gave me. There is no big difference between me and the management. I know football and I know who has to be on the pitch and who doesn’t. I can see everything. If people are not happy, then sorry, I am the manager and I decide.a

Controversy with players

Anelka also gave a cryptic response to the Andre Moritz controversy, whose contract was terminated early on in the season, while fueling some sparks between him and the India national team captain Sunil Chhetri.

a Moritz had to go because he had to go. And I didn’t try talking to him because it was a decision made by the club management.

a Sunil is very technical and less of a striker and more of a midfielder for me. He can score goals and he’s clever. He scored at the beginning and is struggling now but he’s a fighter and I can’t say anything wrong about him. He’s done it before and I’m sure he will do it again.a

Wary of Mendoza .

Anelka, though, sounded cautious about Chennaiyin star forward Stiven Mendoza, whose brace had defeated the Blue Devils in Navi Mumbai.

a We know Chennai very well. We know they are strong and play good football. They have fast players like Mendoza upfront. We have to be careful. Ita s going to be harda

Image Courtesy: ISL Media