Brown: We deserved something from the game

Hyderabad FC fell to another defeat as Chennaiyin FC romped to their first win in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 on Monday. Matthew Kilgallon equalised for the away side late into stoppage time but Nerijus Valskis scored the second goal for the hosts to ensure his side took all three points at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Hyderabad FC head coach Phil Brown was unhappy with how the game transpired. “I don’t think both teams contributed to a great spectacle tonight. I don’t think it was John’s (Gregory) game plan, it certainly wasn’t our game plan. For the first 30 minutes we couldn’t find the right passes. My players weren’t playing the kind of football I know they can play. We had good opportunities early. I always thought the first goal will be important, but I didn’t think for one minute that the game will end the way that it did,” he said.

Brown also felt his team lacked enough possession to make it count. “The first pass after winning possession back is important. I thought for 30 minutes in the first half, we didn’t look as if we knew each other, let alone playing with each other. So, that is something we have to improve. The extra time produced the most exciting part (of the game). I thought we deserved something from the game. I was disappointed. No points from two games is something we need to address as soon as possible. The next game is now a big game for us.”

The Englishman was content with the performance of his defence, however, he expected more from his attackers. “I think our best players were Matthew and Gurtej (Singh). Chennaiyin have pace on the wings, and I have two centre-backs who were tested on the pace perspective. They stepped up to it. Consequently, they gave the wingbacks a chance to play more ahead,” Brown opined.

He continued: “But I don’t want my centre-backs to be my best players. I want my attacking players to be the best players. No disrespect to any of my defenders. For 90 minutes we had a clean sheet. In 97 minutes, we were beaten 2-1. A little bit of mentality is needed to work with. The late defeats hurt me, and I told my players that if these defeats don’t hurt you then I don’t want them in my changing room.”

“I think the team failed in the wide areas, with a lack of quality in the forward play. We need to get that quality resolved. The attackers need to get more possession. They need above 70% of the ball to have a good game but majority of our offensive players had less than 50% of the ball which is not good enough for me. I believe that when we play two midfield players, both Rohit (Kumar) and Marko (Stankovic) had a defensive understanding. I want that to be on the offensive side. I want them to be more creative,” Brown added.

The 60-year-old coach then spoke of his satisfaction with his Indian wingbacks before demanding more from them offensively, “I think I have two very willing Indian wingbacks who are learning the game on the job and that is key. They are going to have better careers. Nikhil Poojari just lost his international place and he will want that back. Mohammed Yasir has been playing out of position. He is learning on the job. They have good pace but again it is the communication between them and centre-backs. Obviously in the final third I need them to produce as well.”

Read the Match Report here.

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