Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez urged his players to be perfect in their gameplan in order to win their upcoming fixture, as his side faces FC Goa in Matchweek 14 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Margao, on Thursday.

Currently second in the league standings, Hyderabad FC are nine points ahead of Thursday’s opponent, FC Goa, who are three places away at the fifth position. The Gaurs have won consecutive games at home and will be willing to continue their run with a win against Hyderabad FC in a bid to qualify for the playoffs.

“It is going to be a very tough game, and it is true that they have better results at home than away, they are a very good team with a coach who knows the team, and they are a team that will qualify for the top six. It will be a tough game for both teams on Thursday,” Marquez said at the pre-match press conference.

Inspite of a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture, the Spaniard asserted that his team still has work to do to win such kind of games.

“They will keep playing with the same style, we did not play a good game against them in the reverse fixture, so for us, it is good that we win these kinds of games. We have to be perfect against them if we are to win or at least play a good game,” he stated.

The business end of the season is always entertaining as teams look to minimise errors, with every game and every point being critical to advance through to the playoffs.

Marquez highlighted how this stage of the season poses a daunting challenge not just for teams in the top six, but also for the teams below it, in the fight for the playoff spots.

“It is true that in this moment of the competition, even the teams below the top six have chances to arrive in the top six and qualify for the playoffs, the fight will be very hard,” he concluded.

Hyderabad FC forward Aaren D'Silva, who has made several appearances off the bench this season, also attended the pre-match press conference alongside the head coach. 

D’Silva, who hails from Goa, faces his former side FC Goa for the first time as part of an away team. The 25-year-old is keen on performing well and helping the team.

“It is a special game because, being from Goa, I have always dreamed of playing there (in Goa). Playing in front of the crowd and the family will really be special, and I hope we perform very well after training,” said D’Silva at the pre match press conference.

“FC Goa have always been a strong team, they keep the ball well and progress, but we have also trained hard, and we know what to expect from the Gaurs. We are preparing accordingly, so they will have a tough game as well,” he mentioned.

Having made his Hero ISL debut with Hyderabad FC last year, the forward made nine appearances in their title-winning run. He feels his game is headed into the right direction under head coach Manolo Marquez.

“The coach has always been motivating and guiding us. My debut was last season under head coach Manolo Marquez, and it is only getting better for me being under him. I am trying to improve myself, and the rest is up to the coach and God,” he concluded.