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ISL 2019-20 | Hyderabad players showed their spirit against Kerala Blasters, claims Phil Brown

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ISL 2019-20 | Hyderabad players showed their spirit against Kerala Blasters, claims Phil Brown

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SportsCafe Desk


Hyderabad FC head coach Phil Brown has claimed that his players showed they had the spirit after their 2-1 come-back win against Kerala Blasters FC on Saturday in their first-ever home match in Hyderabad. Austrian midfielder Marko Stankovic also spoke opened up about his multiple roles in the team.

After a dismal start to their ISL campaign with two back to back losses with a heavy margin, injury-laden Hyderabad FC came back from behind to beat Kerala Blasters FC 2-1 at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad. And the Nizams have sounded confident now ahead of their second home match against the Highlanders.

Hyderabad coach Phil Brown has hailed the positives, especially his players for their spirit and commitment against Kerala. Moreover, the Englishman praised the crowd for their interaction with players. 

“The main one for me, I thought there was an instant interaction with the crowd. I thought the players showed that they had spirit, especially in the second half, and consequently got the win because of it and I thought the crowd appreciated that. They motivated us and we motivated them. So, that was one of the biggest positives. It was quite surprising.” said Phil Brown in the pre-match press conference, ISL website reported. 

Kerala Blasters dominated the game and was leading 1-0 in the half-time by teenager Rahul K.P's goal. In the second half, Marko Stankovic's penalty and Marcelinho's amazing freekick sealed the match for Hyderabad FC. 

“The spirit and determination and the will to win is something that you can’t actually measure. But we witnessed it in its entirety for a good 45 minutes in the second half. As a coach and as a player, one of the rewarding things in football, is that when you have given your all and you get the reward of a win. You can relax and move on to the next game then.” Brown added.

Hyderabad FC are still injury-plagued with foreigners Rafael Lopez, Bobo, Giles Barnes all out, while another foreigner Nestor Gordillo ahs been suspended till December. Even after a win against Kerala, Phil Brown admitted his concern with the injuries.

“I don’t think we’ve moved past all the injuries. We’ve still got a fairly extensive treatment room. What we intended to do on Saturday was to focus on what we had and not on what we didn’t have. It wasn’t about how beautiful we played. It was about how strong we played.” added the 60-year-old manager.

Hyderabad coach also updated about the injury of their Indian forward Robin Singh “He limped out at the end of the last match. It was more of a cramp than a strain. It hasn’t really expressed itself on the training ground since the game. It’s important we get a similar kind of team and a similar kind of performance in the next game. I haven’t named the team yet.”

Hyderabad's next challenge will be unbeaten NorthEast United and the Hyderabad coach has admitted that his side is well aware of the strengths of his opposition, who have held both Bengaluru FC and FC Goa so far. 

“We are coming up against a very strong team. They’ve got a lot of discipline about their team. They’re not wide open. They play a very, very organized game defensively. They have a strike force with Asamoah Gyan, who is capable of winning a game of football on his own. But we have a team of characters.”

“I will pick the strongest team available to me. The character that we showed, I’m going to reward as much as I possibly can. However again, we had injuries from that game. We are carrying one or two from the game. I may have to change tactics. I may have to change the style of play.” Brown concluded.

Austrian Midfielder Marko Stankovic, who is now in his second season, also attended the press conference with the coach and delved deeper into changing system of the club, which has demanded different roles from him.

“Right now, we are changing a little bit of system. Sometimes we are two in the middle, sometimes I am alone as the sitting midfielder. I can adjust to this. I love these positions, number six, number eight, box-to-box. These are my positions right now. I’m a little bit more in front of the defence which helps the team more.” said Stankovic.

He also remembered the game against Kerala “We played well in the last game. We had the crowd in the back which really helped us. I just think if the crowd does the same (on Saturday), the result depends just on us and not on NorthEast’s performance.” Stankovic concluded.

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