It is time for debutant Hyderabad Football Club to dish out the brand of football it promised before the start when it takes on Kerala Blasters FC in its first home game of the 2019 Hero ISL at the GMC Balayogi Stadium (Gachibowli) here on Saturday.
For a team which lost the first two games of the season - 0-5 to ATK and then 1-3 to Jamshedpur FC in the away games - it has a huge task to provide some cheer to the fans expected to throng the stadium tomorrow for what is arguably the biggest football match in the City of Olympians after in almost a decade.
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Hyderabad FC head coach Phil Brown promised to bring crowds coming up with a brand of football but having failed to do so in the first two games, it will be interesting to see how the fans, who are expected to turn up in large numbers as the Rs. 300 denomination tickets were already sold out for the match, are treated and how the goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh-led Hyderabad FC is spurred to change the script.
Apparently, all the planning by Phil Brown was not executed as well he would have loved to so far and he should be definitely hoping for an improved display from his boys.
“Conceding eight goals and scoring just one in two matches is not a concern for us. Hopefully, we will have a stamp of our own in this ISL very soon,” he said. “I am sure one win will bring in the confidence and the desired change for the good,” he added even while expressing concern about injury-scares.
The grim reality is that Hyderabad FC has to put the best foot forward to ward off the challenge from the formidable Kerala Blasters which has a huge fan base and many of them are expected to be here tomorrow too.
Not surprisingly, for the home team a lot depends on the efficacy of the livewire Marcelinho, former ISL Golden Boot winner, who interestingly scored the only goal for the team in two matches so far. But, again he needs support from his teammates who need to pull their socks up, literally.
“Yes, we hope to do something better for the fans and build a relationship with them as this is a long season. Give us some time to breathe and you will see the difference soon hopefully,” says Phil Brown.
For his part, Kerala Blasters head coach Eelco Schattorie, accompanied by player K. Prasanth, said it was a painful loss against Mumbai City FC after winning the first game against ATK.
“But the mood is upbeat and we appeal to the fans to be patient. We are getting lots of messages, suggestions on on social media including which eleven to be fielded,” Eelco said with a big smile.
“I don’t think we have any psychological advantage with Hyderabad having lost the first two games. It will be a different game altogether and we will be looking to score full points tomorrow,” he concluded.
Hyderabad FC vs Kerala Blasters will be shown on the Star Sports network and can also be streamed live on Hotstar. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM IST.
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