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Jamshedpur v Hyderabad

ISL 2019-20: Phil Brown - More pressure at Hyderabad FC compared to Pune City

12:30 GMT 28/10/2019
Phil Brown Hyderabad FC
Phil Brown wary of his injury-stricken squad ahead of facing Jamshedpur FC in their second match…

British manager Phil Brown’s second stint in India started on the worst possible note as Hyderabad FC lost 5-0 to ATK in their debut Indian Super League (ISL) match.

Speaking about the heavy defeat on the eve of their game against Jamshedpur, the Hyderabad coach said, “The performance in the last match is not our usual standards. To say we have had a difficult period for five, six weeks in terms of pre-season is an understatement. There is a lot of things that are going around in the background but the main thing is what the coach is concerned is the injuries. We had injuries to key players, Rafa Lopez, Giles Barnes and Ashish Rai.

“It’s difficult to replace quality like that and the big plus from the last game was that Marko Stankovic got 75 minutes game time. We did not plan for that, we planned to give him maybe 20 or 25 minutes of game time but when Rafa went down with the injury, Marko was the perfect replacement.

“I was living on thin ice, every ball he touched, every run he made but at the end of the game, okay we lost 5-0, but I looked at that as a big bonus and I am glad he is fit and he will be involved heavily in the game tomorrow (Tuesday).”

The former Swindon Town coach suggested that he is feeling more pressure this time compared to his first stint at FC Pune City.

Brown said, “At Pune when I came the season was lost, so we weren’t under pressure. But now there is pressure, it is a new team so more demands. We want to contribute to a good season of the ISL. But it is difficult for us as we have four foreign players in the treatment room.  But we will give it a try tomorrow. Hope the quality will eventually come in.”

Sharing his view on the league structure of India, the experienced manager said, “You've got great competition in ISL and I-League. My initial thought was to put the leagues together. I always believe in the pressure of winning title and relegation. Those kinds of pressure bring with it an excitement and brand of football that you may not have seen in India. We need that pressure. I don't like when players walk off the pitch with a smile when they have been beaten. We need to introduce that in Indian football.”

Hyderabad's opponents Jamshedpur are coming on the back of a morale-boosting win against Odisha FC where they were down to 10 men for most of the game and still turned out to be the better of the two teams. Head coach Antonio Iriondo feels his team will continue to improve game by game. 

"The team is still under construction, we are still working on our style of play. The players made a great effort and we are very happy with that. Happy about the result but we want to play better. At this point, we still have to improve. We didn't have the ball control but we had control of the match."