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Phil Brown unhappy with attackers, Steve Coppell determined to look forward

Published at :February 11, 2019 at 1:01 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Neil Talnikar

Robin Singh scored a late equalizer in the second half to provide the Stallions a single point on Sunday night.

In what turned out to be a thrilling game in the Indian Super League (ISL) between FC Pune City and ATK, the home team salvaged a point after trailing by a goal in the second half. After Jayesh Rane had cancelled out an early own goal by John Johnson with a beautifully curved shot, the visitors scored another through an Edu Garcia penalty in the second half.

However, Robin Singh stepped up for the Stallions and headed home from a corner to bring the teams level once again. that was also his first goal this season. With the draw, the Stallions have managed to bag four points from new head coach Phil Brown’s first two games in-charge.

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Watch: FC Pune City 2-2 ATK highlights

Post the encounter, Brown looked fairly content with the team’s performance, although they cannot afford to drop points at this stage. The Stallions were lucky that the referee showed mercy on Ashique Kuruniyan, as he could have been shown a red card for his two-footed challenge late in the game.

“I am not here to blame the referees and I think they did a fair job on the night. As for Ashique’s foul, yes, we were lucky that the referee didn’t produce a red card but there were several mistimed tackles in the game. Sometimes mistimed tackles look worse than they actually are,” he said.

Speaking about his side’s overall performance the 59-year-old commented, “I would be lying if I come to this conference and say we did well. I think we struggled pretty much in the final third. Maybe it is because I have come from the Premier League, but I expect much more from the attackers, Humey (Iain Hume), Robin Singh, Marcelinho, Diego (Carlos) and Ashique on the left flank.”

The Englishman went on to explain how he cannot establish a clean-sheet mentality into the team in such a short span of time. Not blaming either of Miguel Portugal or Pradyum Reddy, he explained how it is difficult mentally, physically as well as tactically to manage a team from the middle of the season.

“As far as I’m concerned, I want to finish this season on a high and to give myself the best chance to stay in India.”

On the other hand, ATK head coach Steve Coppell also started the conversation talking about the poor challenge by Ashique saying, “I’ve seen many such fouls leading to red cards, but I don’t know I’ll have to take a look at that again.”


Turning towards the overall game, Coppell showed his discontent about losing out on all three points, especially after leading 2-1 in the second half. “To refer to Pune, they have won their last three games. They throw men forward and make life difficult.”

“Even we gave some silly free-kicks in and around the box and just too many set-pieces at the end. We paid the price for that,” he added.

“However, talking about our overall game, considering the opportunities we had, we controlled the pace of the game. In many ways it was a good performance. Had we played the first two or three games of the season like this, it would have made me more happy. Yet, considering the position we are in, the draw is a disappointing result.”

The Englishman also expressed his concern over Pronay Halder, who picked up an injury in the match, after conceding a foul from a heavy challenge. “ As soon as it happened, I thought he was in trouble. He is an important player for us and the seriosity of the injury is a subject to the test results tomorrow morning. Hopefully, he can recover quickly from that.”

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Finally talking about his side’s chances of reaching the top four Coppell said, “A win today would definitely have been a good result for us, but now we have to look forward. Can we win the next three games? Yes, we certainly can. But, they are tough games, especially those against Mumbai City and (FC) Goa.”

“If we deserve to be in the playoffs, we have to make sure we win against those two teams,” he concluded.




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