Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez feels that it will be a difficult game for both Hyderabad FC and Odisha FC as both the teams are looking for the top spot in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 when they meet at the GMC Balayogi Stadium in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Odisha FC has been winless against Hyderabad FC in their last four outings the Juggernaut's their last win against the current champions was under Joseph Gombau's stint in 2019.

The Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez was accompanied by Sahel Tavora during the pre-match press conference. The coach explained the importance of the club for the football culture in the city, his thoughts about the opponents.

Here are the excerpts from Manolo Marquez's press conference:

Your initial thoughts ahead of the game and how preparations are going on?

Marquez: The game is going to be a difficult one. We all know how Odisha FC started the season and how strong they are. Two seasons back, they finished last, and last season they fought for the playoff spot. This season with Gombau as their head coach, he knows the team perfectly and they are playing very well. This will be a very difficult game for both teams.

It will be a top-of-the-table clash. Do you think it will be an explosive game or going for a cautious approach?

Marquez: The style of Odisha FC is more attack than defense. They won't come here only to defend themselves, they will try to attack with their possession. They are a complete team, tactically. They are having a clear 4-3-3 formation with good wingers and midfielders. We also want to win and we are not the team who enters the pitch to defend the score, so it will be a good game for the crowd.

Last Saturday, you managed to get the crucial result against FC Goa but we saw FC Goa put on a completely dominant performance against Jamshedpur FC, so do you think longer gaps between the games help the teams or will it affect the momentum?

Marquez: Every game is different. You can beat all the teams if they are not focused on the game. Jamshedpur FC didn't start the game well and within ten minutes they conceded two goals. That situation is difficult for any team to come back. So this is not about the preparation or gap between the matches. In the last season, we saw the team which plays after a six days gap losing to a team which plays after a three days gap.

Any special plan for any particular player in the Odisha FC team?

Marquez: No, they have good players in each position. I can name all of them. They have a good team with a good coaching staff. They are one of the teams which will fight for the playoff spot.

You have won three back-to-back matches and two of them at home. How hard is it to win consecutive matches in Hero ISL?

Marquez: It is very hard. It is even difficult to win two consecutive games at home. So winning three is much more difficult but at this moment we are with two wins. I don't know why we didn't play against FC Goa at Goa as the Fifa U17 World Cup was finished before our fixture. But that's fine. We are happy to play in front of our fans. It is a great feeling.

Last game Javi Siverio scored the winner. Borja Herrera already scored against NorthEast United FC. Joel Chianese is fit and back. How hard is it to select the playing eleven?

Marquez: Typical question and a typical answer. This is the best thing for a coach to have all the players available for the game. Except for Rohit Danu, all other players are available for the game against Odisha FC.

Do you think our home crowd made the difference in the results or performance of the team?

Marquez: If you are winning, the crowd will come to the stadium. If we lose three games, they won't. This is the case all over the world. We are the champions but it is not enough. If we want football to grow in Hyderabad, we need to win and have many good seasons.

Here are the excerpts from Sahil Tavora's  press conference

Probably you are the most used substitute this season in the team, are you doing any particular thing which makes you an ideal one?

Tavora: I think this question is better for the coach. I just try to help the team, whenever I get the opportunity. A lot of my appearances are from the bench, but I try to help the team according to the game. That's my job and that's what the coach wants me to do.

What challenges do you expect from the Odisha FC team?

Tavora: As the coach said they started the season very well and they seem like a very good team. It will be a difficult game but we are confident about the game. If we perform our best, we have a good chance to win the game.

Have you enjoyed the home crowd at Hyderabad?

Tavora: We got a good reception in the first two home games from them. Last two years we haven't had them so finally playing in front of them is a pleasure. I hope they will continue their support and come in large numbers.