ISL 2019 | It was a genuine honest performance against Mumbai, feels Phil Brown

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ISL 2019 | It was a genuine honest performance against Mumbai, feels Phil Brown

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SportsCafe Desk

03/03/2019

After FC Pune City got the better of Mumbai City FC in the Maharashtra Derby on Saturday, coach Phil Brown has credited his boys for putting up an honest performance against their derby rivals. Mumbai coach Jorge Costa, on the other hand, expressed his disappointment over the loss yesterday.

With one goal each from Adil Khan and Robin Singh, FC Pune City ended its 2019 ISL campaign with a 2-1 win against Mumbai City FC in front of the home crowd at Balewadi. With this win, Pune have moved up on the points table and have ended their campaign in sixth place which, if they can hold onto, will give them a direct entry into the Super Cup. 

"I think the transformation is being down to the players. I looked for an honest performance which allows mistakes. If you make mistakes in a game of football, that’s going to happen. I credit the upturn in form to the players. Today was a genuine, honest performance," Brown said during the post-match press conference.

"Sometimes you can ask some players to do something different from what they normally do. I have never done that. Since I arrived, I’ve asked the players to do things that they are paid to do. We’ve got a 50% win-ratio under me. We’ve now got 17 points from the last eight games, which is title-winning form. Tonight’s performance is purely down to honesty. I would like to thank the players for what they’ve done.”

With some of the regulars missing out due to injuries and suspensions, Pune gave an opportunity to few of the young boys in the squad.

"Some of the big players were out with injuries and suspensions and allowed an opportunity for Mohammed Yasir, for Nikhil Poojary, for Gurtej Singh, and they took the opportunity well. For me, Gurtej was the Hero of the Match. Since December, he hasn't played a game. I thought he was magnificent tonight," the Pune coach explained. 

Mumbai, on the other hand, would have wanted a win last evening to get some momentum ahead of the ISL playoffs. The team from India’s financial capital are scheduled to play FC Goa on March 9 and 12 in the two legs of the semi-final clash. They finished the league stage at No. 3 with 30 points from 18 games. 

"We came here to win the three points. We worked for this. We created a lot of opportunities. We go back home with zero points. So, I’m not happy with the result. But I have nothing to say about the players because they worked, they tried. During the 90 minutes, they were focussed on the game. They were serious. They will have tomorrow off and on Monday we will start preparing for the semi-finals,” said Costa.

"The last two games that we played against Goa, we had a score of 0-7. So of course, we need to change a lot of things if we want to play the finals.”

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