Pleased with our recent performances: Mumbai City coach Anelka

Mumbai, Oct 31 (IANS) On a high after three consecutive victories at their home ground, Mumbai City FC marquee player-cum-manager Nicolas Anelka said he is pleased with the recent performances and believes that the side is ready to take on defending champions Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) in Sunday’s Indian Super League (ISL) match at the DY Patil Stadium here.

Mumbai come into the match with a 5-1 victory over NorthEast United FC on Wednesday where star striker Sunil Chhetri scored the first hat-trick by an Indian in the tournament.

The hosts are currently placed in the fourth position in the standings after a superb run lately with 10 points from six games. They have won three matches, lost two and drawn one.

“I am very pleased with the team right now. We had a difficult start but the team has responded well. I am pleased,” Anelka said at the pre-match press conference here on Saturday.

“We are playing at home and we will play to win. It’s a different game and we go on the pitch knowing we have the home advantage. Of course, we want to win but we are playing a good team tomorrow. We have to try our best,” the former Real Madrid striker, who has restricted himself to a managerial role this season having only played three matches as a substitute, said.

India national team skipper Chhetri, who is currently the top scorer of the ISL’s second season with six goals from four outings, will once again be the man to watch out for on Sunday.

Anelka praised Chhetri, terming the 31-year-old as a great player.

“I am happy with him. He is scoring. He is a big player for us. Good player, very pleased with him,” Anelka said.

On the other hand, visitors ATK have lost their previous three matches and find themselves in the sixth spot with seven points from six games, having won two, drawn one and lost three.

“Every match is a knock out for us. Mumbai City is a good side and we are trying to overcome Mumbai,” said ATK assistant coach Bastab Roy.

“It’s not a difficult task. It happens. We will come back,” Roy said, confirming the availability of midfielders Javi Lara and Jewel Raja, both of whom had previously missed matches due to injury.

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