ISL 2020-21: HFC co-owner Varun Tripuraneni lauds team, hopes for strong finish

ISL 2020-21: Hyderabad FC co-owner Varun Tripuraneni lauded his team's performance so far and called for a strong finish to the league stage.

Hyderabad FC co-owner Varun Tripuraneni.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

For a team which finished at the bottom of the points table in its debut in the Indian Super League last season, Hyderabad FC has shrugged off a hesitant start to be in the contention for a slot in the knock-out phase of the on-going season.

Co-owner Varun Tripuraneni shares his thoughts on different subjects related to the HFC campaign.

Excerpts

Q: How has been the first phase of the ISL for you as a co-owner?

A: It has been a very satisfactory start to the season. This is really the first full season for us. We had time to plan, build the squad etc. While we were moving the right direction during the off-season, we had a change in the head coach role and we did not let that affect us. We moved in quickly and made the right decisions.

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Hyderabad FC co-owner Varun Tripuraneni is satisfied with the start to the season.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

Q: What went wrong after a winning start?

Once the league started, the kind of football we were playing gave me a lot of confidence that we were on the right track. The improvement in the squad is very visible. Yes, we had the three losses in a row.

Apart from the game against KBFC, we played well in the other two games. The game against Mumbai was top and we were leading against FC Goa as well till the last minutes. Our coach, Manolo has always said the strength of our squad is the unity within the group and the attitude has been great, we were confident we would bounce back and we have shown tremendous character in the last few games. The key now is to take it game by game and finish the league stages strong.

Q: What sort of interactions do you have with the support staff and the players?

We are in a different situation now due to the COVID-19 guidelines with players and support staff in a bubble. The physical meetings are not possible now and the only interactions are through phone or video calls or WhatsApp messages. I have kept these also minimal, very less with the players in fact. It is more limited to wishing them on the captains group on a match day and encouraging them after the game, irrespective of the match result. With the coach, I do have regular calls where we discuss the current situation of the club, opponents, injury situation etc. At the moment, we are well settled and my involvement is quite less. In normal circumstances, I would have definitely met them quite often.

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Q: What kind of efforts do you put up to see the team spirit is always high?

As I said, the team spirit and unity within the group is our strength and Manolo has mentioned this to me several times during my conversations with him. I think we have created a really good atmosphere within the group and Manolo has handled this magnificently. After a poor season last year, we had to get our act together on and off the field and we have done just that.

Q: How frustrating was it when the team lost three matches in a row?

Yes, it was a bit disappointing especially because we were playing good football. As I said, it was just the KBFC game in which I felt we were not at our best. I was very confident that we would bounce back. In my messages and discussions with the coach, my communication was only that we continue working hard and the wins would come automatically. The players knew what they were capable off and were confident as well. I always had faith in the team.

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Q: What exactly did you brief the team during that dismal phase?

No, not at all. We started the season well playing good football, we saw lot of young players step up and made their mark in the league with some good consistent performances. The effort from everyone has been terrific and I am sure that all are aware of their roles and responsibilities and are putting in 100% effort. We have a great group working together.

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