Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez said he is happy with his team's performance so far this season as the defending champions have picked up seven points from three games. He further assessed Carlos Pena's team and was impressed by their new style and looking forward against the FC Goa team in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season at the GMC Balayogi stadium at Hyderabad on Saturday.

Marquez stressed the importance of every single player in the squad as he gears up to defend the Hero ISL title that they won last year and hailed the importance of continuity in their squad. 

Marquez was accompanied by Akash Mishra in the official pre-match press conference ahead of Hyderabad FC's home match against FC Goa. The head coach spoke about his side’s attitude and his starting XI.

Here are the excerpts from Marquez's press conference:

It’s a game between two undefeated sides, so how are you approaching the game?

Marquez: I think it's another game, we are still at the beginning of the competition. We have got a good start not only in terms of points but also in continuity. As I said in last season's press conferences, in Hero ISL, any team can beat any other in a given day but we all know, we are the tough team to beat.

What we can expect from Saturday's game against a strong FC Goa team?

Marquez: We always try to play in a similar style, sometimes we can succeed, and sometimes not. For example, in the last game against Bengaluru FC, though we created many more chances than them in the first half, we were not playing in the style Hyderabad FC is known for. So, similarly, we expect a very strong side in front of us. They(FC Goa) started the season very well and it’s always a pressure game when you are playing against FC goa but after playing two weeks in our style, we can have more confidence. And I know, FC Goa will be the team who will be in the fight for playoffs.

What is your biggest takeaway from the last three games?

Marquez: We are at the beginning of the competition and we have 20 games, we expect more as we want to play in playoffs. In these 20 games, we will play every type of game from very good to a very bad game. There are a lot of things in football like positioning, reacting quickly etc but players know that having the right attitude is as important as these aspects. Other teams can beat us as they can play better but they shouldn't beat us in attitude. We are happy with the seven points now but we know every game will be a difficult one.

The game against FC Goa will be your 4th game in the competition, did you find your best playing XI or can we expect any changes?

Marquez: It will be similar. Manoj played the first two games and Akash came in the last game. As the team is playing well, there won't be many changes except one. I am sure we need players apart from the starters, they need to be competitive and push themselves and the starters. The key moment in the game often come from the players who don't start, so we need them.

How do you rate FC Goa and your assessment of the FC Goa team so far?

Marquez: There are no secrets in these games, The style of Hyderabad FC is clear so is the style Carlos Pena trying to implement in the FC Goa team. In my last two years, I have seen FC Goa as a team which wants to keep the ball and possession but now, they can attack, defend and counter-attack. This FC Goa is a more complete team.

Here are the excerpts from Aakash Mishra

How does it feel to be back in the team after missing the first two matches?

Mishra: It's never nice when you miss the games. It's very hard when you are not training and playing. I am really happy that I recovered well and played 90 minutes in the last game so I am looking forward to the next game.

How did you feel when you finally played in the home stadium after a month this season?

Mishra: I have played for Hyderabad FC for the last two seasons but it was my first game in the Gachibowli. Fans came in huge numbers and they were amazing and very loud. I hope they will turn out for our next games as well.

What's your strategy against the FC Goa team which is known for its attacking style?

Mishra: In Hero ISL, all teams are different and they play a different styles. For us, every game is important but the most important is our game style, we will work on that and we will try to play our kind of football.