Phil Brown praises Jamshedpur’s character, urges his players to step up

Hyderabad FC’s second match of their first-ever Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) season will see them go toe-to-toe against Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Tuesday. The newcomers had a tough start to life in the Hero ISL, losing 5-0 away to two-time champions ATK and will be eager to turn things around in their second try.

According to Hyderabad head coach, Phil Brown, a lot of factors were responsible for that unsavoury result against ATK. “It was not our usual standards. To say we’ve had a difficult period for five, six weeks is an understatement as well,” said the Englishman at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Jamshedpur tie.

“The main thing were the injuries. We’ve had injuries to key players. As I said after the game, whatever could go wrong that night, did go wrong. We had three key injuries to Rafa Lopez (Rafael Lopez Gomez), to (Giles) Barnes and to Asish Rai. The list of injuries is fairly lengthy and to key players as well. I think the Indian boys suffered because of the lack of foreign players that we have available to us. We only have three players on the foreign front available to us,” he added.

The Englishman, however, backed the squad at his disposal and claimed his players will do everything they can to get their first points on the board. “The group is okay. They are in a good place. We are preparing for the next wave that’s coming at us which is Jamshedpur. We will do everything we can to contribute to one: a good game, but two: to try and get some points on board. That’s the biggest challenge. But until we can have a fully fit squad, we can’t say anything about how we are going to do this season. It’s going to be game by game.”

Speaking about the pressure he and his players had taken upon themselves after the ATK result, Brown quoted, “You put yourself under pressure. Every time these guys cross the white line, I’m over there with them. I prepare the team as best as I possibly can to eliminate that pressure.”

The Hyderabad boss also expressed his admiration for the mentality Jamshedpur showed in their first match against Odisha. “I tried and educate the team to play in a certain way knowing fully that what’s coming out of Jamshedpur’s changing room has strengths, but it also has weaknesses. And we witnessed that against Odisha, a good game of football.”

“There is a character about Jamshedpur that is likeable. Against the run of play, a man down, and they still won the game (against Odisha). That is a sign of character and we understand that. We are going to have to prove our mettle. We will need to put in our best performance to come out of the game with something.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Marko Stankovic, who also attended the media briefing with Brown, looked back on the ATK result and asked for patience with respect to the team. “It hurts because everybody expected something different. It’s a new club, so it takes a bit of time. The good thing about this game is nobody can point fingers at anybody because everybody was at the same level. We have nice characters in the team. We also have senior players who will try to help.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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