Chennaiyin FC are a brave but unpredictable team: Hyderabad FC's Manulo Marquez
Hyderabad FC head coach Manulo Marquez is hoping to return to winning ways in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season after suffering back-to-back losses. The coach praised Chennaiyin FC for being a brave team ahead of their match against the Marina Machans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Chennai, on Saturday.
The clash has added significance as both the teams are coming after a defeat and are looking to set things right. Marquez acknowledged that his team didn't play well in the last games but is satisfied with the fact that their players trained very well after the losses and are now ready to play in the upcoming game.
Marquez was accompanied by goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh in the pre-match press conference, who featured for the first time in Hyderabad FC colors this season. The coach also spoke about injury concerns in the team, his assessment of opponents Chennaiyin FC and more.
Here are the excerpts from Marquez's press conference:
You are up against Chennaiyin FC, who you have faced in the Durand Cup a while back. What do you expect against Chennaiyin FC? Do you expect a similar kind of match or different?
Marquez: About the game, I think that is totally different, the Durand Cup was pre-season. I remember perfectly that the players who played in both teams (are different), so there will be a lot of difference between both teams. Even in the second half (against Chennaiyin FC in the Durand Cup) when we equalised the game with a red card (for Chennaiyin FC) and they played with ten players for 35 minutes. So it will be a totally different game and will be a difficult game like every game in Hero ISL.
Chennaiyin FC is currently seventh in the table and Hyderabad FC is second. But on the other hand, Chennaiyin is one of the unpredictable teams in the league given the results they had so far. So what do you think will be the deciding factor in the upcoming game?
Marquez: I think that they have very good players and have very good offensive players. (Chennaiyin FC) is a team that is sometimes unpredictable. Sometimes they are winning and it seems that they will win clearly in the game, but finally, the opponents scores and the opposite is also true. For example, the other day, in the Odisha FC game, they were 0-2 down, Odisha FC was better in the first half and yes, finally they (Chennaiyin FC) lost but they went on to equalise the game, practically in the last minute.
I repeat, we were together in the same hotel in Imphal. I have a great relationship with coach Thomas Brdaric and I like Chennaiyin FC because they are a very brave team. They try to win the game when they are drawing.
Any players that have stood out for you in the Chennaiyin FC team?
Marquez: I don't like to talk about specific players. We can speak about that, they have some players that all of us know for a long time in the Hero ISL and practically, I think that all the foreigners are new because Rafael Crivellaro is still in the squad but is not registered. But the other six foreigners are new. Yes, I remember in my three seasons that they changed the foreigners usually but this team was twice champions in the Hero ISL. For sure, it will be a very difficult game.
How have the players reacted to the training and preparation for the next game after the two defeats ?
Marquez: Very good. Very good is the only thing that I can tell you after we lost against Kerala Blasters FC and ATK Mohun Bagan and this is not about losing, drawing or winning. It is about the feelings. We were not good in both games. I think this week the team is aware of this. They are very clever players. Some of them have a lot of experience and you can never say that we will win this again. But the thing that we can tell is that they trained very well and we are ready to play this game. Let's see if we get the three points and start again with some wins.
Hyderabad FC had some issues with injuries in the last few games. How do you think that the players who came in as a replacement responded and performed?
Marquez: I think this year we have less injuries in the squad. But yes, we have the injury of (Laxmikant) Kattimani but we have four goalkeepers in the squad and we signed Gurmeet (Singh) last season, we know the level that he has. Now, he started as a second goalkeeper but one injury didn't allow him to arrive in the best conditions when Kattimani had an injury. But I think that all of us are very quite confident with the goalkeepers that we have.
The other players had a small injury. Hitesh Sharma lost one game. Rohit Danu has recovered and he will be in the squad against Chennaiyin FC. Practically we have all the players available. It was in the beginning of the competition Akash (Mishra) couldn't play the first game, but more or less it is normal thing in one championship.
Here are the excerpts from Gurmeet Singh's press conference:
You played your first match this season against ATK Mohun Bagan. How did you feel about the match?
Gurmeet: It was a good feeling but I was also disappointed to lose the three points. We will try to win all three points against Chennaiyin FC on Saturday.
You made some good saves against ATK Mohun Bagan. How much did it boost your confidence?
Gurmeet: It did boost my confidence a lot. I got injured at the start of the season but I recovered and managed to play my first match, so I got a lot of confidence.
How is your co-ordination with your defence?
Gurmeet: My teammates help me a lot. We have a good understanding and they motivate me a lot.
What kind of game are you expecting against Chennaiyin FC?
Gurmeet: Chennaiyin FC are a good offensive team. So, we have to be focused and give our 100%. We need to stick to our game for the full 90 minutes.