We have to keep performing to stay in the top two: Hyderabad FC's Marquez
Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez expects his players to play with the same dedication and skillset in order to get all three points from their upcoming fixture, as his side hosts Chennaiyin FC in Matchweek 15 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the G.M.C Balayogi Athletic Stadium, in Hyderabad, on Thursday.
The reigning Hero ISL champions are second in the league standings, 16 points ahead of their opponent, Chennaiyin FC, who are seventh with 15 points and have a game in hand. Hyderabad FC have won five games in a row for the second time this season and will be willing to continue the run in front of home support against the Marina Machans in their bid to finish in the top two.
“It is always good to perform in front of home support, and I expect a very difficult game since Chennaiyin FC are a good team and they are in a position where they are close to sixth place even after playing a game less than the other teams. I think they are a team that takes risks, and I like the way they play. They have improved in the last few games, and we expect a tough game,” the head coach said in the pre-match press conference.
Manolo Marquez's men managed a 3-1 win over FC Goa in their previous game despite the hosts pulling some threads of their own. The Spaniard mentioned that they still need to lay the groundwork properly to win such games and feels any team in the league can beat the other team.
“I was not able to explain how FC Goa plays, and this is the reason I felt we did not appear for the first 55-60 minutes in Goa, but we managed to play well after we scored the second goal,” stated Marquez.
“All the opponents are difficult, and every team can beat the other team with different styles, it is about how you understand to manage every game according to your style,” he added.
Hyderabad FC have been toe-to-toe with Mumbai City FC in the race for the pole position. With only two points to seperate the two sides, Marquez addressed how significant the rest of the season will be in their pursuit for finishing on the top.
⚔️ 𝘛𝘦𝘭𝘶𝘨𝘶 𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪, 𝘵𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭 𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪, 3️⃣ 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘢 𝘬𝘰𝘴𝘢𝘮 𝘬𝘰𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘬𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘮 𝘥𝘢𝘢 👊— Hyderabad FC (@HydFCOfficial) January 9, 2023
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“These results make me happy, and I think in some years people will remember these players, but still seven games are remaining, and we have to continue to finish in the top two,” said the head coach.
If the first half of the season was about the defensive unit for Hyderabad FC, then the second half has started with a fiery attacking front for the Marquez-led side.
“We missed the goals in the first leg of the season, it was all about how we defended. Now we are scoring more goals, which is similar to last season when we were more clinical. It is very important for the offensive players to score goals," concluded the 54-year-old.
Hyderabad FC youngster Abdul Rabeeh, who has made several appearances from the bench, also attended the pre-match press conference alongside head coach Manolo Marquez.
Despite not being a regular in the lineup, the player has already recorded two assists, one of which came in the game against FC Goa.
“I am very happy to get some minutes, and I hope to help the team more going into the next games,” said Rabeeh in the pre-match press conference.
Marquez is known for moulding youngsters and shaping them to their best of abilities, which will improve their game as well as the team's game.
“We are like a family here, and they always help me with everything while giving me more confidence to play. Chennaiyin FC are a good team, but we are prepared to put in a tough game while playing our style of football,” he concluded.