Brown: Need to win matches now that we are at our strongest

Hyderabad FC will be aiming for all three points against FC Goa at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Sunday in a bid to get themselves out of the bottom position in the league table. After a disappointing start to their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 campaign, the club has slowly started to pick up points but will need to accelerate the process if they are to have any chance of reaching the business end of the table. Head coach Phil Brown seemed quite confident in his players’ ability to do so, thanks to the rising level of competition within his squad.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the Englishman said, “The competition for places is at its best since I’ve been to India. I’m looking at a group of players where everybody is hungry. The treatment room is empty. We may have two suspensions (Gurtej Singh and Sahil Panwar), but that’s a part of football. When you get that as a coach, it’s a great feeling. But now, we have to win the game. That’s the most important thing. When you are at your strongest, you have to win games of football. Goa is in town and it’s a big challenge for us.”

“I also think that we have a good mindset at the moment. We are coming into a moment in the Hero ISL as a group that we are looking forward to games, as opposed to fearing the games. The energy is there in the group,” he further explained.

The 60-year-old then, confirmed defender Adil Khan’s availability for the match, following which he expressed his admiration for the India international’s attitude. “As a coach, it has been one of those nervous times where I’ve watched Adil train for the last couple of days and hoping that everything goes according to plan so that he can play.”

He added, “I think whenever Adil enters the field of play, he enters with the end (of the match) in mind. He has a character that wants to win. For me, that’s the most important part of any football player. He wears his heart on his sleeve. I want players to represent Hyderabad, represent Phil Brown as a coach in the right possible way. We need more Adil Khans on the field of play against Goa with the right attitude.”

Stressing the need for an identity of his side, Brown voiced, “I was at the game between Bengaluru (FC) and Goa last year in the final, and it was great final. I thought it was a really enjoyable match to watch, two teams that deserve a lot of credit. They have a plan which they have been working on for years. They have continuity. And this is what we need. We need an identity.”

“We need more togetherness and cohesion on the field of play. We’ve played three at the back, we’ve played four at the back, we’ve played five in midfield, we’ve two strikers. And this is only six games in. So, we need to get a system where we are all happy. This is a vital moment for us as a team in the Hero ISL. We got to make sure that we get the three points on Sunday,” he added.

Adil, who had attended the media briefing along with Brown, was, likewise, confident in his team’s ability to get a positive result against Goa. “We have players who can fill the boots of the players who are suspended (Gurtej Singh and Sahil Panwar). We had problems in the starting of the season with injuries, but now everybody is fit. There is a lot of competition in the group now. So, everyone is fighting for the places. So, let’s see how it goes. We are going to give 100% against Goa,” he said.

Read the Match Preview here.

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