Kolkata: Mumbai City FC coach Peter Reid on Saturday ruled out former Sweden great Fedrik Ljungberg's chances of playing in tomorrow's ISL opener against Atletico de Kolkata here.
On Ljungberg, who's recovering from a calf muscle injury Reid said:"He still feels some pain. I don't want to take any chances on this artificial surface. If he aggravates his injury, we may not get him for the entire tournament. It's difficult but we are in good frame of mind and looking forward to the start of the tournament," the former Manchester City and Sunderland manager said.
This would mean that Mumbai City FC's playing XI will have a depleted look with both Ljungberg and Frenchman Nicolas Anelka out of action.
Anelka who was handed a five match ban by the Football Association after the 35-year-old made the controversial 'quenelle' gesture in December while playing for West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League (EPL) is set to miss three ISL matches.
In a country, where cricket is most followed sport, the Englishman said there's room also for football to co-exist and he termed it an honour to be part of the inaugural ISL.
"There's room enough for two sports to co-exist in a country. It's a great opportunity to go out there and highlight it. It's a great occasion."
Putting Atletico de Kolkata on par, he said: "ATK too have quality players. It will be a good contest. We will try and win the game. Honestly, we are not under any pressure."
"Being a football coach, you can never promise. It's the nature of the sport. I can only talk about my team. We will be out there and play good football."