This NorthEast United FC team is similar to how they were last season: Hyderabad FC's Manuel Marquez

Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel Marquez believes it was good for the confidence of the team to see goalscorers apart from Bartholomew Ogbeche on the scoresheet as they prepare to face NorthEast United FC in match 77 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at PJN Stadium in Margao, Goa on Monday.

Hyderabad FC are leading the table with 23 points in 13 matches. They have won their last two games.

Hyderabad FC defeated Odisha FC 3-2 in their last match. They had more possession and took 18 shots at goal.

Ahead of Hyderabad FC’s match against NorthEast United FC, coach Marquez addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference.

What kind of a game do you expect on Monday?

They deserved to win in their last two games. This NorthEast United FC is more similar to how they were last season, very good foreigners and very enthusiastic Indian players. It will be a difficult game for sure.

How good was it to see Akash Mishra, Joel Chianese and Joao Victor get on the scoresheet apart from Ogbeche who has shouldered most of the scoring responsibility?

We have the league’s top scorer in our team but it’s important that other players contribute. So it was positive. And the day Bart didn’t score, it was good for our confidence to be able to score.

How’s the mood in the camp after back-to-back wins?

Obviously the mood is better after the two wins. Usually, it’s difficult to win in the second leg because practically all the teams are in battle to get into the top four. We are happy with the six points but now we have to think about the next opponents.

How realistic are the team’s chances of winning the championship or making it to the semi-finals?

It’s too early. I think that the fight for the top four will maybe go down to the last game or last two rounds. I think the top eight teams have the possibility to qualify. And then it’s very difficult and unpredictable because there's a difference in the number of matches played.

How important is it to maintain momentum in this stage of the league?

It’s better to win all the games. But if you win against a team who is fighting for the top four then it’s not just three points won for you but also three points dropped for your opponents. Now we know, NEUFC is not in the fight for top four but they are stronger. I don’t think it’s about the team fighting for the top four, it’s about how the other team is doing at the time. All the games have been very difficult till now.

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