Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez was extremely delighted after his side secured a crucial 1-0 victory against ATK Mohun Bagan in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the GMC Balayogi Stadium, in Hyderabad, on Tuesday.

A late Bartholomew Ogbeche winner meant Hyderabad FC not only went home with three points, but also secured second place in the Hero ISL standings. They now have 39 points in the bag after 17 games. Meanwhile, the Mariners remain in the fourth spot with 28 points and drop further down in the race for playoffs.

Marquez considers this campaign as the most difficult of the three seasons he has managed at Hyderabad FC and was pleased to have secured the second spot while playing the style of football that he expects his team to play.

“We are very happy. In these three seasons, this has been the most difficult because in this season we had a lot of important players out and the level of Indian players along with the team has been good. The team played with a lot of order and was compact,” Marquez said in the post-match press conference.

Having secured the second spot, Marquez hinted at giving more minutes to the players who have not featured regularly this season. Hyderabad FC face Jamshedpur FC in their next game, which will be their final home league fixture of the season. 

“We have to train in a good way and fulfil our job. Some players with less minutes will have a chance against Jamshedpur FC as they do not have a chance to qualify for the playoffs,” he added.

The supporters are always a big part of the team and Hyderabad FC have another home game to play before the playoffs begin. Marquez expects another game with a great atmosphere and went on to thank the fans.

“We are happy with the supporters and are trying to make Hyderabad a city where football grows as a sport. I expect more people to come and watch us play in the stadium, and we need the complete support from them in the playoffs,” the Spaniard stated.

Manolo Marquez welcomed the return of defender Chinglensana Singh to the playing eleven against ATK Mohun Bagan and confirmed the availability of midfielder Joao Victor in the next game against Jamshedpur FC.

“He (Joao) will play some minutes against Jamshedpur FC as we do not want to take unnecessary risks. We decided to play with more experience in the team and I was impressed with the performances of Sana Singh and Bartholomew Ogbeche,” he concluded.