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ISL 2018-19: Phil Brown - FC Pune City are prepared for whatever Mumbai City can throw at us

16:39 GMT 01/03/2019
Phil Brown Chennaiyin Pune City
Phil Brown is ready to face his final challenge as Pune City coach in ISL 2018-19 as they face Mumbai on Saturday…

FC Pune City’s season has been on an upward curve ever since Phil Brown took over the club midway through the season. Since the arrival of the British coach, the club has churned out some quality performances and has seen them rise to seventh on the table.

Phil Brown said, “I have been delighted with the team performance up until the game last week. There are some reasons for bad performance. The loss of key players has resulted in the two wins and the two draws. Not just the two wins and the two draws. The two wins before I arrived, big players play a big part in football.

“When you have big players, which includes the Indian players as well, you got to make them fit and deliver. I just don't mean the level of fitness on training but fitness for matches.”

The former Swindon Town FC coach is cautious ahead of facing Mumbai City as they have already qualified for the play-offs.

“The game against Mumbai will be interesting and I don't know how they will turn up given they have already qualified. As a coach, I’ll probably think they will rest a couple of players. I really don't know how they will turn up tomorrow,” said Brown.

On asked if he would field some more young players in the last game, Brown replied, “I don't want to necessarily flood the team with youngsters. When you pick youngsters and put them in a team that could possibly go on to win a game, you don't just bring five young faces and lose 5-0. It’s just a bad scar for the team.

“As a coach, I have given over 30 players their debut in my career and it has never been flooding the whole team with youngsters. It has always been one at a time. Put one player, they do well and then bring another one in. The U-23 players of my team have been really good and eight of them being called up for the national team it is incredible. Credit has to be given to the club for investing in the youth right from the beginning.”

“We know Mumbai's strengths. The lad up front (Modou Sougou) scores plenty of goals. He makes great runs behind. But their biggest strength is on the right side. I know one of their suspended players is their right back and therefore that levels the game out a bit," he further added.

“We have prepared for whatever they throw at us. I think it will be an entertaining side. They are a good team with strength and depth, probably a bit more depth than my side.”