FC Pune City head coach Phil Brown cut a confident figure head of their Super Cup clash against Chennai City on Sunday.
"We are really looking forward to it. We came to Bhubaneshwar just over a week ago and we got a bye to the next round (after Minerva Punjab opted not to play their qualifier). All the players and the management staff are really focused on this game. We want to progress in the competition. We want to go as far as we can and to come up against the I-League champions will be a good challenge," said the Englishman.
Chennai City striker Pedro Manzi has caught the attention of the the former Hull City coach who conceded that keeping Spaniard quiet will be one of his strategies.
"Chennai is a very good team. I watched their games with great interest because I wanted to know what the [I-League] standard is compared to the ISL. I think the energy, the work rate, the mentality and certainly the quality of the front three was probably the main reason why they won the I-League.
"Their forward (Pedro Manzi) gets 21 goals, and that's a mean achievement at any level. We have our challenges defensively but the quality in our team will cause Chennai problems," he continued.
"We have to keep Manzi quiet. There's no doubt about it. For me, the Manzi factor is something that we need to understand but we don't always need to focus on the opponent. I think, if we can marshall Manzi in the right way and keep him quiet, hopefully we can progress to the last eight."
Looking back at the ISL season 5, Brown stated that that their recent form will play a positive role in his side's journey in the Super Cup.
"I think we were in a rut before [interim coach] Pradhyum (Reddy) took over the team. That losing mentality is a dangerous thing when you go into the dressing room. If a player looks over his shoulders and sees good players around him, he goes on to the field full of confidence. That confidence is only fuelled by winning. When we start winning games, the confidence spreads like wild fire.
"At this moment in time, the form table shows that we are the best team in the ISL in the last seven or eight games. The confidence that we have gleaned from the last seven or eight games is what's needed tomorrow night. If we can bring that to the table, then I think we can progress."
Giving his take on the Super Cup competition, Brown commented, "It's a great competition. This year has been a little bit controversial but if everybody in India buys into this competition, I think it could be a great competition. And certainly then, if you can progress to another competition elsewhere, then it has credibility."