The Englishman asserted that he won’t be introducing the young players in the squad until the mid-season.
Phil Brown is ensuing on a new era in Indian Football, having taken the helm of the brand new side to participate in the Indian Super League in Hyderabad FC. The side has an enormous history in its region and the Englishman will look to bring his impressive form with FC Pune City last season to his new franchise.
The Englishman spoke about how well gelled together his side is going into the season. He said, “When you’re a new franchise going into a new league, I think we have a responsibility to play the right kind of football to enhance ISL’s brand. There are 10 franchises in ISL. But we have no identity yet. We have to get that identity. We have four games in 11-12 days and everyone will have an identity by then.”
“We need to understand us a little bit better. We have to win over the hearts, the minds and the eyes of the fans of Hyderabad. We need to bring excitement to fill the stadiums and bring fans to watch us. ISL has to be a world-knowing brand from now on. The influence of ISL from outside India is an important part. We have a big part to play this season and hopefully that starts tomorrow”, he added.
Weather in Kolkata will help us
The weather in Kolkata isn’t the most ideal to play football as it’s very wet thanks to the torrential rains, but Brown feels that will benefit his players tomorrow. He said, “I feel I’m now in England as the weather is similarly terrible here in Kolkata. We have been training in 35-36°C and will be playing tomorrow night in a colder weather.”
“Hopefully, that allows us to show the level of fitness to win the game. I think it’ll be a blessing in disguise for both teams. I think both teams will benefit as the game will show great fitness levels and ability as well. The players are the ones exposed to the outside influence and I think they’ll be secretly thanking somebody for the weather.”
ATK deserved to win against Blasters
Brown had kind words for ATK and the Kolkata fans before his visit. He opined, “I thought ATK deserved something from the game, they haven’t got anything. There was a goal that was disallowed and a penalty decision which went against them.”
“They could’ve scored many goals against Kerala. That is something I have to focus on. They have players to create opportunities and score goals. That will affect the mentality of ATK. What we’ve been doing for the last six weeks is focusing on the players I have. It’s important to understand my group of players.”
The coach continued, “Kolkata is a fantastic city and coming to visit a team which is historically successful. My big focus is on improving Hyderabad and the players we have. We’re looking forward to our first game tomorrow.”
On the transition to Hyderabad FC from FC Pune City and giving game time to youth
Brown as FC Pune City’s manager for half-a-season has brought many of his players along to Hyderabad. When speaking on how knowing his players from before helped him along with getting a new core, he explained, “I’ve brought in over half of the Indian players with me from FC Pune City and two foreigners in Marcelinho and Marko Stankovic.”
“Marko has a great mentality and understanding of the Indian game. Marcelinho is the kind of players who can win games of football anywhere they play. We’ve brought in new players from FC Pune City academy and other teams. There’s a difference from last season in Indian and foreign perspective.”
“I would say of the 25 players that we have, probably 20 of them are very competent of playing ISL. The five younger players need some learning. I won’t be throwing young players who don’t know how to win games in the ISL. We need to establish ourselves as a new franchise in the first four games.”
“Maybe as game five comes along, we can introduce the younger players. We have to make people look at us in a serious way and in a new way that makes people look at us in the football team,” he added.
On Nestor Gordillo’s suspension and unavailability until December
Nestor Gordillo is still serving a ban he received earlier this year but Brown hopes his Spanish talisman can return soon. Phil Brown stated, “At this moment, we’re waiting on an appeal to the AIFF about reducing Nestor’s ban. It’s sad that he can’t play at the moment. He’ll be an asset to the ISL. I think he’s a player with a similar mentality to Marcelinho.”
“He’s one to one doors in defence. He’s clever enough to open doors by asking questions. I hope the appeal is positive in regards to Hyderabad. If the ban goes down, we’ll have him earlier which is positive for us. Hopefully, we’ll see a brand of football in Hyderabad which I have in mind. Hopefully we’ll have Nestor earlier than the fourth game.”
Praised Ashish Rai
Finally, he heaped praise on youngster Ashish Rai and said, “I was fortunate to see Arrows play live. I don’t mean to watch every game on TV but to watch from the ground. I watched them against Kerala in the Super Cup last season. I watched a very competent player from the Indian under-21 team.”
“Ashish was part of that. When I was told about his inclusion I was delighted. He has a great attitude and has fantastic energy as a player. He can go up and down the pitch as much you need him to.”
“He has a future ahead of him for sure. To work with Ashish is a delight. I hope he’ll have enough exposure in the ISL to have a great career. I hope many young players can represent us this season. Ashish I know will be an asset for us going forward,” Phil Brown said.