We didn’t play a good game: Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez

Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez revealed that he was not happy with his side’s performance despite their 3-1 win against FC Goa in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Goa, on Thursday.

Bartholomew Ogbeche opened the scoring for the visitors but FC Goa clawed their way back into the game through Redeem Tlang’s strike during the second half. Both sides continued creating chances, but it was Ogbeche who dealt the Gaurs a killer blow by scoring two goals at the death, sealing his hat-trick in the process. The result sees Hyderabad FC reclaim the top spot while FC Goa continue to stay fifth in the Hero ISL standings.

Marquez admitted that FC Goa were the better side in the first half and that Hyderabad FC took control of the game only after the equaliser.

“I’m not very happy with the performance. We are in game number 13 and we are closer to the League Shield. During 20 games, you play good games, and normal games, bad games and very bad ones. If you get to win one game like today, where FC Goa were 1000 times better than us and we finished the first half winning 1-0, then football is a lie. When they equalised the game, we started to play. It’s true that when we scored the second goal, we more or less managed the game. But at least, we could see Hyderabad FC on the pitch after they equalised. For 55 or 60 minutes, we didn’t exist,” he said at the post-match press conference.

Hyderabad FC have now registered five wins on the spin, including three away wins. Marquez stated he was delighted with the three points, but he also warned his team that it will be difficult to win matches with performances like these.

“To win is always crucial, if you play good or bad. And the question is you prefer to play good, bad or the three points, I would prefer three points. But the way to get the three points is to play in a good way. Because if we play like this, we won’t have too many chances to win games. It’s fantastic (the three points),” he said.

“It’s five straight wins and it’s impossible (to get these kind of result). After the previous game, I told my players that they deserve a monument in Hyderabad. But we deserve self criticism if we don’t play a good game. And we didn’t play a good game. It’s important – the good organisation of the team, (staying) defensively compact, but with the ball, (we did) practically nothing except the last 25-30 minutes. After they equalised the game, it was an equal game,” he added.

Marquez also hailed Ogbeche, who netted his first hat-trick of the season. Ogbeche is currently one goal behind Abdenasser El Khayati, Cleiton Silva and Lallianzuala Chhangte – who are the joint-highest goalscorers this season.

“His level is top, even at 38. Now with these three goals, he’s only behind the top scorers in this league. We can’t tell nothing because we all know what kind of player he is and the teams he played in. In India, he is the top scorer in the history of the Hero ISL. He’s an important player for us, even if he doesn’t score goals. His work rate is good for the team,” concluded Marquez.

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