Hyderabad FC manager Phil Brown has revealed that he had players on Saturday who played the match against Kerala Blasters with the help of painkillers and injections and went on to win it. Brown also praised the huge turnout at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium, for HFC’s first home match.
After losing consecutive games to ATK and Jamshedpur FC in their first ISL two matches, where Hyderabad FC shipped in as many as eight goals, the new entrants were looking at the nightmare spreading across their home venue as well. Rahul KP had given the lead to visitors Kerala Blasters FC in the first-half with HFC succumbing to a familiar underwhelming display all over again.
However, the hosts came back strongly, courtesy of goals from Marko Stankovic and Marcelo Pereira in the second half as Hyderabad got their maiden victory in the league. Coach Brown couldn’t be happier as he heaped praise on the players’ character while revealing that he had players who had to continue with painkillers.
“I think there were a couple of players who shouldn’t have played because they had injuries. But they played with injections and painkillers. It was a matter of wearing the shirt with pride. Anyone can focus on the injured players and make excuses. But I ripped that page up and in the next page was the team. That was where I had to focus on and what we did, and consequently got the result we deserved,” said Brown at the post-match press conference, reported ISL website.
“It’s really good to win any game of football but to win at home and when you are under pressure (is special). If you look at the last two results and then see you are at the bottom of the league but deep down you know you have good qualities in the team, good characters in the dressing room. The most important part of tonight’s performance was character. It wasn’t quality in terms of the football we played, etc. I told the players to wear the shirt with pride and respect the history of Hyderabad,” he added.
Despite coming to the match as the bottom-placed side, Hyderabad turned up for their side for the first home match, which was delightful and Brown pointed out how important it was for the side. “I was delighted with the crowd, the turnout. The atmosphere was brilliant. If you can bring in the crowd and make it a fortress, you have half a chance. Nine of your games are at home. There was a lot of hard work which went into tonight’s match,” said Brown.