Kolkata: Pune FC start their campaign in the 116th Indian Football Association (IFA) Shield when they take on Pailan Arrows at the East Bengal ground on Sunday.

Clubbed alongside Arrows and Meghalaya’s Ar-Hima FC prompted Pune FC Coach Derrick Pereira to say: "At the end of it all, whoever be the opposition, working hard is the only way out."

Pune FC go into the game after taking a break and regrouping a week ago.

Both teams know each other well and have clashed thrice before with Pune holding the edge with a solitary victory before two successive drawn games.

Pune will seek its first three points against Arrows, but the coach believes that one cannot go on past records and feels the game will be a good match.

Pune FC has never made it to the semi-finals of the IFA Shield.

"The competition is a good one after the break and also works well in our build up for our final assault in the I-League."

Pune FC will go into the match without Baldeep Singh (injured and out for a few weeks), Gurjinder Kumar (national duty) and striker Jeje Lalpekhlua and Abhra Mondal both recovering from injuries.

(Agencies)