We must continue to improve because a perfect team doesn’t exist: Hyderabad FC’s Manuel Marquez

Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel Marquez said he was happy and satisfied with his team being on top of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) league table but felt they must not stop improving as they seek to remain in that position come the end of the season.

Hyderabad FC face Odisha FC in their next match and would need a victory to make sure they cement their place at the top for the time being.

The Spaniard felt Odisha FC remain a strong outfit despite the change in the head coach’s chair and is not expecting an easy ride for his team.

Marquez spoke to the media ahead of the match.

Here are the excerpts from his press conference:

After a series of draws, how crucial was the last win against SC East Bengal?

It's always important when you win a game. And yes, we won the last game and at this moment we are with 20 points but we have to continue. There are eight games to play. Every game is a battle. Even the other day, in the first half where we led 3-0, there were moments when SC East Bengal were better than us. But of course, we have very good players and a very good team and finally we could win the game. After a draw if you win, it's fantastic but if you lose, these draws aren't good. But we know how football works and now we are confident in our team.

After the last game, are there any areas of concern for the team? Where do you think the team can improve?

Now the problem is that we don't know which players are available till the last moment. If there are Covid-19 positives at the last moment like the other day, then we have to change at the last minute. There are always areas to improve. But sometimes you have to put players out of their position and see what happens.

There are always areas to improve but at this moment we are the team with the most number of goals and the team that has conceded the second lowest number of goals. But of course, we have areas to improve because a perfect team doesn't exist.

Odisha FC are now under the leadership of Kino Garcia and what difference do you expect from the opponents as compared to the reverse match that Hyderabad FC won 6-1?

I don't see too much difference. The score was 6-1 in that match but if you remember the game, when they equalised, they had clear chances to score the second goal. Fortunately for us they didn't score and we scored in the last minute of the first half and the first minute of the second half. The game was finished.

Now they changed the coach. Coach Kino wasn't on the bench yet. I wish that he can be there tomorrow but at the moment, the team is very similar. They play more or less the same style. Maybe they press a bit more. The wingers Jerry and Nandha are the same. Javi Hernandez plays as an attacking midfielder or sometimes as a false nine. Thoiba is the central midfielder. Now Sahil Panwar is in better shape than the first match against us as it was his first match but more or less the style of the team is very similar. In my opinion, the coach doesn't play, it's the players who play the game.

Your thoughts on how Aniket Jadhav has been performing this season and how much has he grown since pre-season?

Aniket is a player with a lot of qualities. But he is young and can improve in a lot of areas especially in decision-making. But he is a player who with his qualities in the future can be an important player in Indian football because he is a player who can score goals, who can dribble, who can cross. I think he is an important player in our team at this moment.

Bartholomew Ogbeche returned to the team and scored a hat-trick and this was also the first time he started together with Javier Siverio. What are your thoughts on the pair?

I had said before that we had to find the correct moment for both players to play together. Both played ninety minutes three days back so we have to see if we start both or only one of them. It's difficult but we have to decide the line-up today.

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