Chinglensana hails head coach Marquez, confident of an even better showing from Hyderabad FC in 2021-22

Hyderabad FC have made massive waves of late with the acquisitions of star Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) performers Bartholomew Ogbeche and Edu Garcia from reigning champions Mumbai City FC and 2020-21 finalists ATK Mohun Bagan.

It’s clear that the Telangana-based club have serious ambitions going into the next season that will kick off later this year. Hyderabad FC narrowly missed out on the semi-finals last season – a massive improvement on their 10th-place finish in their debut season in 2019-20 -- and by all indications so far, they look at least to go one better in the 2021-22 season. Defender Chinglensana Singh, who debuted for India earlier this year after a string of good performances in the Hero ISL, reinforces that thought.

“Yeah, the season [2020-21] could have been better, of course, we are not satisfied but it is a good start. The good thing is that the same hunger would be there and the same players would be there mostly so, we look forward to continuing and do better for the club. We are a very ambitious bunch of players so it is going to be a very exciting season for the club,” he told news18.com.

“We still won’t be able to play in front of the crowd but we will surely have great moments together and I am very optimistic about it. It is just the beginning …our peak and our best performances are still ahead of us. Individually and as a team we are going to do much, much better than what we have done last season."  

Chinglensana didn’t hesitate for a moment and credited head coach Manuel Marquez for their impressive showing last season, particularly for the fact that he placed a lot of faith in domestic talents and brought out the best in them. “A lot of credit goes to our coach for taking off all the pressure away from us young players, and to take up that responsibility and let us play with that extra bit of confidence.

“He has a very simple philosophy, to enjoy football. To enjoy the game is the most important part. As a coach, he always tells us that let the pressure be for him and we just go and enjoy the football. That has helped us to play with a free mind and go out there and enjoy the game," he said.

Chinglensana, who featured in 18 games last season and went on to debut for India against Oman in late March, believes Marquez and national coach Igor Stimac have a lot in common in terms of style of play and that made it easier for him to fit into the Blue Tigers’ planning.

“For me, as an individual, I have been very fortunate that both the coaches have a very similar philosophy of keeping the ball and playing from the back. Passing the ball around which I think is one of my key points of the game which I really enjoy doing it. That’s what I did for HFC and I was told to do the same thing for the national team. That really helped me to enjoy my brand of football," the 24-year-old said.

“I did not have the very best of memories of my first India call-up [in 2016] because I did not get my official debut then but I was there with the team. This time around I was pretty confident and wanted to contribute to the team and do well for the team. That was the plan, that was the aim and I have been working so hard for this for a very long time. I was sure I would do that and eventually, I did that and I am happy about it."

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