Brown hopes Hyderabad ‘make a statement’ in front of home fans

Hyderabad FC face off against Kerala Blasters FC at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Saturday in what will be their first ever home game in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20. An injury-hit Hyderabad side will look to win their first match in the league, while Kerala Blasters will hope to bounce back from a late loss against Mumbai City FC in their previous game.

At the pre-match press conference, Hyderabad FC’s head coach Phil Brown backed his team to overcome their defensive frailties once their injury crisis ends, “I hope we can soon get our strongest team out, and then we can talk about the defence, midfield or attack. With a little pride I can say that we have impressed even though we have conceded eight goals and scored just one. I understand the question but give us a chance to breathe. Once we get there, we will show you a brand of football and hopefully results will come.”

While the injuries are a big concern, the continuous travelling has affected Hyderabad as well, according to the Englishman. “The players have been put through the paces. They have been working hard. We went to Chennai for two weeks and then Goa for four to five weeks, then Kolkata and then Jamshedpur. So, when we arrived in Hyderabad, everybody suddenly felt relaxed and we felt at home. And hopefully, we can make that statement in our new stadium. Let’s see how these two home games go and then we can talk about the season,” Brown said.

He was also appreciative of his opponents but hopes that his team can make their mark in the upcoming matches, "(Kerala) are a team that has been put together very well. They have invested very well. But we have watched a couple of games and witnessed a couple of matches. They have got some good players, but we are playing at home, so we must put our stamp on the Hero ISL, and it starts with the next few games.”

Brown then went on to offer support for his target-man Robin Singh, who has failed to open his account this season. “Robin Singh is doing a great job for us. He’s on his own, and Marcelo (Pereira) has been playing alongside him, especially when you have people like Bobo in the stands and you are waiting for him to reach full fitness. Soon, our players will not be in the stands and Robin will get the benefit of our bigger players when they are fit. Right now, we have a treatment room full of good players. once that clears out, Robin will soon get firing.”

When asked if he expects his side to find some form on Saturday, Brown said, “Hopefully sooner rather than late. Because confidence plays a very important part in any game of football and when you get the first win, the confidence spreads and everybody starts to breathe and express themselves. The Indian players are working very hard to get the results because eventually they want to be proud as well. They want to make the people of Hyderabad feel proud but that will take time.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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