Brown: Respect Bengaluru but we must define ourselves
Hyderabad FC will be aiming for their second win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 when they welcome Bengaluru FC to the G.M.C Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Friday. The Hero ISL newcomers have had a rough start to life in the league and currently find themselves bottom of the standings with a sole win in five matches. Things are likely to get more difficult as they prepare for the visit of defending champions Bengaluru, a side Hyderabad’s head coach Phil Brown holds in high regard for their consistency.
“We have a lot of respect for the opposition. I think Bengaluru showed what they’re capable of last season. They also showed what we are aiming for as a club. What I mean by that is the consistency of Bengaluru. The way they consistently pick the same team, they consistently pick the same formation, they consistently have the same strike force; we haven’t been afforded that yet. But when that does happen for us, I think results will follow. There’s just something to admire about the way Bengaluru go about their business but we’re Hyderabad and we understand that. But we have to find ourselves, we have our character, the way we are and the way we define ourselves as a team,” Brown told reporters at the pre-match press conference.
He continued, “It’s a new place, a new home, we have had two home games so far at Hyderabad and should have won both. We ended up losing one to a penalty against NorthEast United but in the game against Kerala Blasters, I think we showed what we are capable of achieving. We’re capable of reaching that level of performance and that’s what we need against Bengaluru. If we get to that level of performance against Bengaluru, I’ll be happy as a coach. I will take whatever results come our way, but I want my players to commit, I want them to be prepared to die for the shirt and I want my players to be prepared to die for a win and that’s what we need. That commitment, if we get that as I’ve said, I’ll be happy.”
When asked for an injury update, Brown said, “Adil (Khan) won’t be involved. Fortunately for me, he’s the only player that I cannot choose from against Bengaluru. I have a full squad apart from him to pick from and, of course, Nestor (Jesus Benitez) is still suspended. So, there won’t be any moaning from me about the treatment room, I’ve had that and got that off my chest. We’re now a fit group, we’re now a full-strength group apart from Adil.”
While admitting that his side hadn’t enjoyed the rub of the green of late, Brown insisted that only hard work will help change their fortunes. “Everybody has good and bad luck. At this moment in time, we’re having a slice of bad luck, but only hard work will turn that into good luck. Only hard work. There’s no use feeling sorry for yourself, there’s no use going out to the field still thinking it’s bad luck. You have to work hard to change that into good luck and once that comes, everybody becomes more confident, everybody starts believing and everybody starts enjoying themselves when you are higher up the table. If we look at the league table, it’s very close towards the bottom.”
“There are five teams with a couple of points separating them and there’s five teams that have broken away already. We have to win our next few games to hang on to the tails of the five teams that have broken away and there’s still plenty of points to play for. But now is the important time, not the end of the season. The next game for me is always the most important and the challenge against Bengaluru is a mouth-watering one. It’s one of these where you are looking at last season’s champions, you are looking for a scalp and you are looking at their coach with a good team. So, there’s lots of challenges there but the main one is to win the match,” Brown added.
Kamaljit Singh, who had accompanied Brown to the pre-match briefing, echoed his head coach’s sentiments on hard work. “It’s frustrating to lose but it’s a team game. We are all working very hard and no one wants to lose. We have been giving it our all but not been getting what we want. We are working hard, though, and hopefully we’ll get a good result in the next game,” he said.
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