The two tacticians had a very different take on Saturday’s game.
FC Pune City came back from a goal down to beat Chennaiyin FC 2-1 and in doing so, kept their outside chances of securing a playoff spot alive. Chennaiyin took the lead through CK Vineeth but a quickfire brace by Marcelo Pereira sealed the result in the Stallions’ favour.
For new Pune head coach Phil Brown, it was a fantastic initiation to the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL). At his first-ever post-match press conference, the Englishman cut a satisfied figure and lauded his team’s character and mental strength. “There’s a statistic in the game of football that 75% of teams who score first don’t lose the game. We just showed in respect to that statistic that we have character in the team. We have strength in character,” he said.
Brown also went on to discuss the significance of the timing of both the goals Pune scored. “I think the timing of the equaliser and then the timing of the second goal was important. If the game goes on, then it brings more anxiety and tension and more nerves. But we scored at the right time. Having conceded a poor goal, we scored at the right time,” he opined.
“Having gone a goal behind, to have the strength in character to win a game from that position is something to be proud of,” he added.
Chennaiyin FC boss John Gregory, meanwhile, was left to rue another frustrating loss. Asked about his views on the lack of experience in his side’s backline, Gregory said, “You can always talk about people who are not there, but it is the people who are there who have the opportunity to stake a claim for themselves, for their career. People who come into the team, I’ve always said, do your best and if you’re successful, you’ll play again next week. The people that you have should perform well.”
He continued on the same note and added, “And today, when we were 1-0 up, there was only one team who were ever going to win it, which was us. We were totally in control of the game. And we gave away two goals that I doubt you’d even see on a school playground. They were very bad goals to give away from our point of view. Up until that point, there was just a question of how many we were going to get because we were totally in control of the match. This is football, you make mistakes, you get punished for it.”