ISL: Anelka blames lack of fighting spirit for Mumbai City's woes; rules out return in 2016
Anelka has also ruled out a return to India, as it stands, at least as a manager. 'I don’t think I will come back [to ISL next year as a manager]. You have to speak to the team management.'
Navi Mumbai: Mumbai City FC marque-player-cum-manager Nicolas Anelka on Thursday pointed out that the lack of fighting spirit is the main reason behind his side's poor run in the ongoing second season of the Indian Super League (ISL).
The hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the tournament were all but shattered for hosts Mumbai after they played out a 1-1 draw against visitors Kerala Blasters FC here.
Striker Antonio German scored the equaliser (89th minute) for Kerala much to the surprise of the home crowd before Spanish midfielder Juan Aguilera opened the scoring (25th) for the hosts.
"The main reason behind the poor run of the team is lack of fighting spirit. I don't know what the problem with the team is when they come on the field in the second half.
"We have been ahead n the first half and come into the second half and conceded a goal. It is really bad a frustrating," Anelka said at the post match press conference.
"We were very good in the first half tonight, we even scored but we again conceded in the end. We were too defensive in the second half. I think we are scared in the second half," he said.
Anelka has also ruled out a return to India, as it stands, at least as a manager. "I don’t think I will come back [to ISL next year as a manager]. You have to speak to the team management. The target was to reach the semi-finals and that target has not been met, so I don’t think so."
With the draw, Mumbai are struggling in seventh in the standings with 13 points from 12 games, having won three, drawn four and lost five.
The French footballer believes that after playing poor football throughout the tournament the side doesn't deserve to be in the semis.
"The way we played, we don't deserve to be in the semis. We can't blame anybody. We lacked the desire to win. We created a lot of chances but failed to double the scoring tonight," the 36-year-old said.
Mumbai, after drawing their last match at home, will travel to Chennai to face Chennaiyin FC on December 1.
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