Football

Brown shifts focus of players

Phil Brown .  

Last season’s semifinalist FC Pune City survived a mini crisis over players’ frustrations with the team management ahead of the final ISL season five match against Mumbai City FC at the Balewadi stadium.

Chief coach Phil Brown took charge in an off-the-field situation over delayed player payment which he realised had distracted the team’s focus away from football during the penultimate tie against Delhi Dynamos FC at the same venue.

Sensing the mood after the loss to Delhi last week, the Englishman asked for total commitment from the players eligible to play against Mumbai, showing an understanding of their frame of mind and at the same time asked them to deliver as professionals would.

FCPC players and the foreign coach are contracted till the Super Cup (April 2019).

It’s in every country

Brown explained: “I have not faced this (situation) as manager or coach before, but football is in this situation at the moment.

There is a financial issue not just in India but in every country.

“I know the directors are doing everything they can to resolve off-the-field issues. They have addressed the players on a number of occasions.”

ISL 2019 is his first India stint, after working in England with Swindon Town, Preston and Hull City.

He added: “All that a working man expects is financial return.

“When that does not come, it shows how much devotion these players bring to the match and to football.

“It has been a very difficult time and the respect I have for these players is immense.

“I asked for what I give to them. I give everything (for the team) and want that in return (from them).”

The anxiety and anger within the squad over financial issues, at the end of a long, hard ISL season, was doused with the franchise making payments over two days before the team walked out to face Mumbai City.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 8:05:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/brown-shifts-focus-of-players/article26424932.ece

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