Brown: Coming back to Pune feels like home

Hyderabad FC will be looking to put an end to their away day woes in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 when they travel to face Odisha FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Wednesday. With just one win from seven matches, Phil Brown’s men are in a delicate position and need more than a few wins to get back to where they wish to be.

The Odisha fixture could be the perfect fixture to do so, as many of the club’s players under Brown’s tutelage, have experience of playing at the stadium. Speaking at the pre-match press conference, the Hyderabad boss said, “It feels very much like home. I don’t want to do any disrespect to Hyderabad. We’ve tried everything we possibly can to settle into Hyderabad. That’s our future. But to come back here to Pune, it has put a smile on a few players’ faces,” said Brown as he referenced back to the time he had in Pune with the now defunct, FC Pune City.

“I had three months here that were very successful. I really enjoyed playing at the stadium. So, this feels more familiar. But sometimes, familiarity breeds contempt. That won’t be happening as far as we are concerned. It is going to be a difficult game,” he added.

Turning his attention to Josep Gombau’s side, the Englishman said, “We know it’s Odisha. We know the type of football their coach wants to play. We respect the coach and the players that they have. We believe that we are just around the corner of a good run. We believe that we are close to winning a game of football.”

Brown continued, “As a coach, it’s my responsibility to make sure that the players don’t get frustrated with results because of the way we play. But I don’t think we are (frustrated). Majority of them are going into games, looking forward to the encounter. We don’t fear anybody. We’re absolutely a different team from the first two games. But we need to score goals. And that’s the responsibility of the whole side.”

Providing an update on the injury to Marko Stankovic, the 60-year-old said, “Marko has picked up a hamstring strain. It’s probably a grade one tear. Fingers crossed he will be back and pushing for a place in the ATK game. Hopefully, we are going into that game on the back of good three points against Odisha. Marcelo (Pereira) is suspended for the game. So, we have two changes to make. Possibly fresh legs will help us.”

Defender Matthew Kilgallon, meanwhile, also attended the media gathering and the Englishman revealed the mood inside Hyderabad’s dressing room. “We travelled yesterday and today we have been resting in the hotel, and then we’ve come here to train now. I haven’t really seen the pitch, but I heard it’s a nice stadium. I think the lads enjoyed playing here last season. When the gaffer came in, they went on a great run. So, looking forward to seeing the pitch and having a little training session on it,” he said.

Read the Match Preview here.

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