ISL 2018-19: Phil Brown - People will judge me on the style of football

Getty Images
The English coach mentioned that Pune will be without the service of Matt Mills on Saturday…

FC Pune City resume their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign this weekend as they take on defending champions Chennaiyin FC at the Marina Arena, Chennai.

The Arjun Kapoor co-owned side will see a third coach at the helm this season when Phil Brown leads Pune against Chennaiyin. 

The 59-year-old is aware of the challenge that lies ahead as Pune have six matches to go but only have an outside chance of making it into the play-offs.

“I think any manager of my experience will see game-by-game. We know what the challenge is. When the board of director of Pune employed me, they told me about the situation and the six games are very important and that we win as many as we can. With a view to my future and future of the club, I understand the challenge. But when the players see me, they want me to motivate them one game at a time. 

“The next game is the most important game. I asked the players to help me. I told them that I want to stay at the club and I want to be a manager in ISL. The only way to do that is giving a good account of myself. Only the players can do that for me and they will be doing that tomorrow (on Saturday) and for the rest of the season,” said Brown. 

They have Chennaiyin FC, a team coached by fellow English John Gregory. The Super Machans are struggling themselves and are lying at the bottom of the league table with just a single win which was against FC Pune City.

“It’s a great start against the champions from last year. John Gregory is a very good friend of mine. I know the kind of football he wanted to play in England and I know the kind of football he wants to play here. This season has been a bit of a disappointment having won the title last year. I know how he would be feeling. I know that my team will be motivated to try and win the game. If we can win this game that will give us the confidence to win the next game,” said the former Derby Country coach.

Brown mentioned that he will be judged by critics on how his team approaches the next six matches. However, he is motivated to make a positive impression on Pune fans. He also stated that they will miss the services of Matt Mills and that Marko Stankovic is a doubtful starter. 

“People will judge me on the style of football we play. If I win the six matches, it will be fantastic for me as well as the club. The most important thing is I can impress the fans and players with the style of play. I am really excited about the challenge.

“Iain Hume and Mark Stankovic are coming back from injuries. Stankovic had stomach upset. He has not travelled with the team but he will take a plane tomorrow. Nothing really has changed. We have been training for three weeks. The one thing which I was impressed the most was the motivation of the players. They are up and ready for the challenge.

“Matt Mills has a problem in his calf and he might not play tomorrow night. He was the captain in the last game. Mat is a leader but I have other leaders. Marcelinho and Hume are leaders too.”

Brown is impressed with the players he has at his disposal and reiterated that he will be judged based on the performance of his team.

“It is difficult because the pressure of each game will force the players to do something different. I had a mini pre-season with the team. For about four weeks we had training every day. I have been impressed with the attitude of the players, especially the conversation I had with the players, the Indian players. The feedback has been very positive. But I will be judged when the team plays the match.”