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Hyderabad FC's Phil Brown - I don't have a bad group of players

2:05 AM GMT+8 22/12/2019
Hyderabad vs ATK
The British manager backed goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh despite a late blunder which costed Hyderabad FC two points...

Hyderabad FC have not a won a match in the last one a half month but they came agonisingly close to picking up their second victory this season on Saturday against ATK. However, Roy Krishna’s late equaliser broke their hearts after Kamajit Singh committed a horrendous error. 

It must be pointed that ATK were lucky to have taken the lead when Ashish Rai was deemed to have handled the ball when in fact, he had clearly chested it. The referee pointed to the spot and Krishna made no mistake from six yards out. 

Coach Phil Brown chose not to launch a tirade against the referees and instead focussed on his team's performance, which in his opinion can certainly improve. 

“It was a very interesting scenario at the end of the game. It was about patience more than anything else. I believe when ATK scored their first goal, I thought it was harsh. The ball apparently hit Ashish Rai on the chest. I am not going to say anything about the referee.

“I think the players are 100 per cent behind what we are trying to do which was showing in the second half. We did not play well in the second half but found ourselves 2-1 up. When you have won only one game in the season, it is difficult to get that winning habit. When you are close to getting that second victory at home and so close to getting off the bottom of the table but then one mistake cost us.

“I am not going to raise my finger at the referee or my goalkeeper. We just have to keep on going. I don’t have a bad group of players. We showed enough team spirit to win the game against a very good ATK side.”

Brown mentioned that apparently an ATK player had told him at half-time that the referee’s decision to award them a penalty was wrong. 

“One of their players while walking off at half-time put his arm around my shoulder and said, 'I don’t know how you cope with decisions like that.' That tells you their feeling for us.”

The former FC Pune City coach heaped praise on the performance of Bobo, who scored a goal in each half. 

“I always knew Bobo would score at this level. I also believe Marcelinho and Nestor (Gordillo) are very good creators. And when you have that, the opposition starts thinking about you. We have scored four goals in two games. We now have to get the clean sheet and we will get the winning formula.”

Goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh’s half-hearted goal-kick in the 90th minute was the reason why ATK could take a point away from the tie. Brown refused to put the blame on his custodian who was given a dressing down by fellow team-mate Adil Khan. 

“It is two points dropped for me. If you are coming into the end of a game 2-1 up, four minutes added time is there, the ball is in the goalkeeper’s gloves then ideally he should send it to the opposition’s penalty box if possible. For him to miss-kick, it is purely nerves and tension. As a coach, I have to give him confidence.”