Phil Brown: Our constant lapses show a lack of character

Hyderabad FC slumped to their seventh defeat of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 as they went down 2-1 against Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday. The loss keeps Hyderabad rooted to the bottom of the points table with just five from 10 matches. Modou Sougou scored for Mumbai in the 6th and 78th minute while Bobo pulled a goal back for Hyderabad in the 81st minute of the match.

The contest saw Hyderabad dominate the second half, playing around thirty minutes against 10 men, but it wasn’t quite enough for them to salvage any points from the contest. Analyzing the game, Hyderabad head coach Phil Brown opined, “I thought we exploited the weaknesses of the opposition on numerous occasions tonight. We did enough to win this game two or three times over. I say that without a fear of contradiction. If (Mumbai head coach) Jorge Costa was sitting with me here, I would say the same thing. He is a tactician, no doubts about that. His teams play in a manner that gets them across the winning line and that’s what we need to do. We went two goals behind but were on the ascendency and creating chances. We didn’t take them.”

“When you find yourself 2-0 down, but manage to get it to 2-1, it’s still too late for me. We need to win games and by conceding goals, you cannot win games. You need to arrest the situation by getting a clean sheet. We have got goals in the team and we will create opportunities with the front three we have got,” he added.

The Englishman didn’t mince his words and attributed the constant lapses of the team to a ‘lack of character’ as a whole. “We had the opportunity to win the game tonight, we didn’t take it. We had the opportunity to win against ATK FC, FC Goa, Bengaluru FC and Odisha FC – all top four teams barring Odisha. It shows a weakness and a lack of character. That is something I need to address, given the opportunity.”

Further delving into the matter, Brown explained, “I don’t think it’s a physical problem. We are finishing games well, as we showed tonight. I don’t think it’s technical or tactical issue either. That leaves only one thing – mental strength. That’s not attributed to a single individual but a collective shortcoming. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for themselves. At the moment, we aren’t good enough. We have to look at that league table and face facts, face reality. If it’s the head coach, change it, if it’s the players, change the players.”

Commenting on the way forward, the 60-year-old indicated that he had every intention of making changes in the January window, if afforded the opportunity and means. “If the owners stay with me, I will reward them by making changes in the January transfer window that will instill a little bit of pride back into the club. We are at the bottom of the league and it pains me every time I see the league table. It hurts me when I talk to anybody about the pride of coaching Hyderabad FC, because we are at the bottom of the table,” he stated.

Read the Match Report here.

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