If we concede fewest goals, we will arrive in top-four: Hyderabad FC’s Manuel Marquez

Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel Marquez is happy with the team’s ability to restrict opponents' goals as they have conceded the least nu,ber of goals in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season so far as they prepare to take on ATK Mohun Bagan at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda, Goa on Wednesday.

With Juan Ferrando taking the reins of ATK Mohun Bagan as the head coach, Marquez believes his compatriot will require time to adapt his new club to his style of play but also felt that the team would still be challanged by the Mariners. 

Ahead of his side’s clash against ATK Mohun Bagan, Marquez addressed the media during a pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Marquez’s press conference:

Hyderabad FC have been unbeaten and recorded a couple of big wins in the month of December. How much does the scoreline reflect on Hyderabad’s attacking game? And how much does it help boost morale?

It is very similar to the last season in January. I think we were with seven games – 3 (wins), 4 (draws) and 0 (losses). Now it's very similar in the numbers. If you are unbeaten it means that you at least get a draw or a win in the game. Then you continue in a good position in the table.  But I know that not only myself, I think that all the coaches will repeat the same. We are playing in a competition that we are seven or eight teams in 3 to 4 points (gap). We have to continue playing and tomorrow we will have a very difficult game.

Talking about stats, HFC boasts the best defence in the league, what are your thoughts on that?

I'm not speaking about Hyderabad. I'm speaking about all the competitions in the world. The team that concede fewer goals in every competition, finally, will be the champion, the second, or the third. It will be a good season if we get to finish the season, and if we are the team that concede fewer goals in the championship for sure that we will arrive in the top four.

ATK Mohun Bagan have improved their league position with back to back wins in the last two games under the new coach Juan Ferrando, what kind of game do you expect?

I think that these kinds of questions are disrespectful for Antonio Lopez Habas, the coach with most titles in ISL. When Ferrando arrived, I know that for me Ferrando is a very good coach and I told you in former interviews when we played against Goa, but if you arrive today and tomorrow you play against NorthEast, you can tell that this is a win because he is on the bench. Now he had more time to work in the team and maybe he will change or he's trying to change some things in the style.

But for me, finally, at the moment they scored the four players in attack or in set pieces, same as with Antonio Lopez. Then I think that Antonio Lopez deserves more respect in this kind of sentence.

Juan will try to change the style, but this kind of thing takes time and for sure that ATKMB is a big team and they will finish fighting for not only the top-four but for the title too. But you need time to improve the team in the style that you want.

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