Phil Brown: Hyderabad players playing under a lot of pressure

Bottom-placed Hyderabad FC travel to the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai on Sunday to take on Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20. Hyderabad will have enough confidence after drawing against ATK FC in their last encounter, a fixture which they should have won if not for a defensive error, and will look to lift themselves up from the bottom of the standings as they enter a new year.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Hyderabad’s head coach Phil Brown spoke about the defensive lapses of his side which cost them two points against ATK, “If truth be told, we have been working hard on the training ground. There’s always a reason for individual errors, but it wasn’t a collective error. Its different players every week and these guys are playing under a lot of pressure because no one likes to be in the situation that we are in. We have almost 11 players out of the 25 who are with us for the first time, both foreigner and Indian.”

“The mistake that club captain Kamaljit Singh made against ATK is something that can be easily rectifiable. We have spoken together as a group about everyone’s collective mentality. We will eventually put these mistakes behind and go on and go forward. We need to rely on hard work and luck but the response of the players has been positive. We need to carry this positivity into the next game. After the next two games, we have a run of matches at home. I think if we eradicate the mistakes, then we can move forward and hopefully, that will be the case against Mumbai,” he added

With no major injuries in the squad, the Englishman seemed confident of having a full-strength squad at his disposal. “For the first time, I have all my foreign players available to me. The medical room is empty and the fitness levels are high. Now that I have them, its my job to pick the right combination against Mumbai. I thought the front three caused ATK a lot of problems. Everybody seems to be wanting to play and there is nothing else I could ask for as a coach. I just hope that this reflects in the game against Mumbai,” he said.

The 60-year-old also shed light on how he perceives Mumbai as a team. “Against Jamshedpur, Mumbai won 2-1 and if you look at the stats, they didn’t have too many chances or possession. This suggests that there are matchwinners in the team. I expect that as a coach. I look at Mumbai as a big challenge and bigger the challenge, the bigger we have to be. We are coming up against a very professional club. We have to be at our best, fittest and most creative,” he admitted.

Joining Brown was Hyderabad’s Jamaican striker Giles Barnes, who spoke about the positivity in Hyderabad’s camp at the moment, “I think the coaching staff do a great job of taking the pressure off us. They are doing their job but now we have to go out and perform. As the gaffer said, we are ready to turn the corner. In the earlier matches, we have gone in with confidence and played well. For us, we don’t have to fear any team. We have to keep working hard. We go into the game with a lot of confidence and we don’t fear anybody.”

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