FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez aims to replicate his team's home form when they face East Bengal FC in their first away fixture of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

The Gaurs are coming into this game on the back of a thrilling 3-2 win over Odisha FC in Matchweek 3. They now sit third in the ISL table with six points from two matches.

Marquez wants his side to be consistent and continue their winning streak in away matches as well, facing the Red and Gold in what would be their first away game of the season.

“This is a significant match for us. People ask me about why FC Goa are different when playing at home and playing away. I think we have to be consistently good everywhere. 15-20 years ago maybe, it was clear when you play at home or when you play away – the difference was too much. It has changed now, and teams play in the same style everywhere,” Marquez stated in the pre-match press conference.

The Spaniard, who joined the Gaurs ahead of the season, is highly optimistic about achieving good results with FC Goa and propelling them back into the top half of the table. He does not want to make many changes to their game plan, considering they will be playing away from home.

“Of course, we love to play in front of our fans, but even in an away game, I wouldn’t want to make too many changes (to how the team plays). I’m very optimistic about this, and just like I’ve been saying from day one, I think that this will be a good season for us,” he said.

Marquez acknowledged that East Bengal FC would be a tough team to beat, as they have assembled a formidable squad, which includes two of his former players. He believes that the team that shines on the day will take away the three points from this game.

“East Bengal FC have several quality players, including two of my former players Javi Siverio and Borja Herrera who were with me both in Spain and at Hyderabad FC. They have an experienced side and this will be a tough game. But then, I believe that all games are tough, and whoever performs the best on the day takes home the three points. We will try to do this on Saturday,” said Marquez.

Midfielder Carl McHugh joined Marquez at the pre-match press conference. The Irish player discussed the atmosphere in the dressing room following their back-to-back wins in the opening two matches.

“It has been a thoroughly pleasant and satisfying experience thus far. We have achieved two favourable outcomes, signifying progress. However, we are cognisant of the pressing need for continuous improvement within our team,” shared McHugh.

However, he believes that their opponents, East Bengal FC, have made some quality signings this season, notably appointing Carles Cuadrat as their head coach. He stresses the need for his team to perform at their peak to clinch the desired three points from the upcoming match.

“East Bengal FC have made some noteworthy signings, both from India and abroad, and they are fortunate to have an experienced coach at the helm,” he said.

“Their (East Bengal FC’s) commendable performance in the Durand Cup during the preseason indicates their potential strength. Therefore, it is evident that we must perform at our best if we aim to achieve a favourable outcome,” McHugh added.