Every game is an opportunity to climb up the table but SC East Bengal are tough opponents: Hyderabad FC's Manuel Marquez
Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel Marquez wants his players to focus more on quality of their crossing than numbers as they gear up to face an upbeat SC East Bengal in match 70 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco da Gama on Monday.
Hyderabad FC are fourth in the points table with 17 points in 11 games, having played a game less than third placed Chennaiyin FC. They are three points behind league leaders Kerala Blasters FC. They have registered only one win in their last five matches.
Hyderabad FC played a 1-1 draw against Chennaiyin FC in their last match. They had 19 shots at goal but only managed to score once.
Ahead of Hyderabad FC’s match against SC East Bengal, coach Marquez addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.
Here are the excerpts from the press conference.
Considering SCEB won their first match of the season against FC Goa, do you think it’s a tough time to face them?
This is the fixture so we have to play them. I think they were playing good football even before winning their last match. They are a competitive team and now they have changed their team a bit. We don’t know a lot about how they will play under the new coach. It will be a difficult game for sure.
Do you think it’s a good opportunity for HFC to win and consolidate their position in the top four?
This opportunity is always there. You win a game and you climb up. We have always been in the top half of the table. The opponent is not important. We have a game and we need to win it. We know five or six games were postponed so the table is not real at the moment.
SCEB has scored 80% of their goals from set-pieces, how tricky is it to deal with them?
I think there are a lot of goals from set-pieces this season. We saw it in Saturday’s game as well.
How happy are you with your players in the wingplay department?
In my opinion, there are countries, maybe India is one of those countries where statistics are important. For me, you can cross a hundred times but maybe you don’t have to cross at that moment. It’s not about the number of crosses, it's about the quality of the crosses. We have two complete offensive fullbacks who are usually one of our tools in the offensive but you have to choose when to cross.