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ISL 2018-19: FC Pune City's Phil Brown - The belief has come back into the team

14:47 GMT+3 15/02/2019
Phil Brown Chennaiyin Pune City
The FC Pune City head coach believes his side are on the up as they get ready to face Jamshedpur...

FC Pune City’s Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs might have long been over but head coach Phil Brown wants to keep the side’s winning momentum going as they get ready to tackle Jamshedpur FC.

The Stallions have recorded three victories from their last four clashes and as such, come to Jamshedpur in confident mood.

“I think it is very important that we approach the next game in a positive way. The reason why I say that, we have talking to the players how we have showed a lot of character in the two games to come from behind and win one and earn a point in the other (ATK). That for me is a good sign that we have great character in our team.  To come to Jamshedpur, we have to come with the belief that we can be strong when we haven’t got the ball. Jamshedpur is a very good team and it is our biggest challenge,” said the Englishman.

“I fully understand why Jamshedpur are where they are in the league, due to the quality of players that they have. We have to be prepared for very long periods where we haven’t got the ball. That for me is the mentality. I have been brought up in a way where the opposition has plenty of the ball, we have to be patient. We cannot be nervous when the opposition has possession. When they get near our goal, we cannot panic and believe in the quality that we have in defence.

“And then the qualities we have as a striking unit, I believe that Ian Hume has been a great servant to the ISL. Hopefully his experience in the ISL will stand us in good stead tomorrow. Robin Singh scored a goal in the last game and is playing with confidence. Marcelinho scored two goals in my first game against Chennaiyin and the belief has come back to the team that we can finish the season in a strong moment. However, that counts for nothing if do not play well against Jamshedpur tomorrow.”

The Pune City coach has urged his men to be prepared for extensive periods without the ball on Saturday and believed that his defence will need to be at the top of their games to thwart Jamshedpur.

“I think that it is important that you respect the opposition as much as you can. I realise where they are in the league table and I realise what their history is. You come to their stadium, you can tell they are a big club. But we cannot play with any fear. We are now in a good moment. We have 10 points from 12. We have earned points after being behind in the two games,” Brown explained.

“So, there’s a lot of technicalities I like about us at the moment but when the whistle goes at 7:30, it stands for nothing. We have to be positive and we have to understand that there will be moments that Jamshedpur will be positive and we will have to be strong. But there will be moments in the game where we will be positive. We are a good side and playing well. I think we had 19 shots on target against ATK so we are creating chances. We have to start maybe being more positive. Instead of taking the shot from 30-35 yards, we need to maybe find one more extra pass and get closer to goal so the opportunity becomes more clear-cut.”

The visitors are sweating over the fitness of defender Matt Mills heading into the clash.

“The only injury that we have is Matt Mills. He hasn’t been available to us in the two games so far. We play Jamshedpur tomorrow and four-five days later we go to NorthEast. He has come with us and we have our fingers crossed that he can play some part tomorrow. It will depend on how he is feeling tomorrow, if he is feeling fine then we can have him on the bench maybe,” Brown concluded.