FC Goa and Manolo Marquez is hoping to see a response from his side when they host Bengaluru FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Thursday.

FC Goa is currently going through through a rough patch since the league resumed in January. The Gaurs have managed to acquire just six points from their last seven games, winning just once. FC Goa stands fourth in the League table with 33 points from 18 games. They drew 3-3 against Punjab FC in the previous game, which confirmed their place in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC who stand seventh in the points table, with 21 points from 18 games, are tied with Jamshedpur FC and Punjab FC on points, and are in the race for a playoff spot. Last time around when these two sides met, they ended up sharing the spoils in a goalless draw.

The pre-match press conference started with Marquez being asked to share his take on the performance against Punjab FC, after having had time to review the game. 

"Obviously now after 48 hours later, I am more calm, but my opinion is not about if we finished the game or not. My opinion is that we are losing more and then dropping and losing points. The team in my opinion is playing the best football at this moment, In the (league) competition. In Kerala during the first half, in Mumbai, the other day against East Bengal, here against Punjab FC. But this lack of consistency is punishing our team. But in these last four games, I think that it's clear that we deserved to win. But if you concede four goals in 45 minutes in Kerala and three goals in 45 minutes in Punjab, it's very difficult to get the points," the coach stated during the pre-match press conference. 

The Spaniard explained why according to him the team seemed to have changed a lot in the last few games after the recent international break. 

He disclosed "The team is more offensive now. We are arriving at more goals, to the opposition's goal. But it's true that in some moment there are the possibilities of the other team to do the same. The chances of the other team may be more clear than in the beginning. But it's not about one player."

"In my opinion, for example, Nim (Dorjee) is playing very well, He's playing at a very good level. It's not about this player, or this player, or this player. It's more or less about the team, that they are playing very well in attack. But we don't have a good balance now in attack and defence."

Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC will also be aiming to secure the three points in Goa, which will boost their quest for the playoffs. Since head coach Zaragoza took charge of the team in December, the team has lost just two of their seven games while winning thrice. Marquez was aware of the progress the Blues have made under Zaragoza.

"Try to win, try to change the mood, because after only one win in seven games, I repeat again, the team is playing more or less okay. They are playing okay in terms of offensive actions, but we know that we need to now finish as high as possible in the table again. Until mathematically there are chances, we will fight for the top position. If not, we will try to finish second, third, or fourth. Finally, again, the regular season is the competition that I like, because it's a fair competition where all the teams play home and away, same conditions. Then the (league) champion will be the fair champion and we will finish in the position that we deserve," Marquez said. 

The FC Goa head coach also spoke about the change in Bengaluru FC's style since Zaragoza took over, and the difference in playing style and the new players that have come into the team.

He said, "The style, it's completely different. Before was more English style with Simon (Grayson). Last season was very good for them. This season they didn't find the correct point. And now with the new coach, they are changing the style. They are trying to play more on the ground and they have good players. They have a lot of good players. Some good players who arrived now in the winter market. And it's a very good team. Will be a tough game for both teams."

Marquez was asked how he motivates the team when the team is down. Especially after a lot of inconsistent performances lately. 

He said: "The balance was bad. But in terms of chances, we created a lot of chances. The motivation, you can be a psychologist, you can be a coach, you can be what you want, But finally, you are the player. I told them I could speak for three hours or I could speak for 10 seconds, But they needed to enter the pitch and show their qualities and put these qualities to use for the team. This is the motivation that we have at this moment. Try to win tomorrow (on Wednesday). Now we will arrive at the playoff and then we will start the motivation in the playoff."

He added, "We need to train. We need to be focused on every exercise and every training session. The most difficult thing in football is to turn a bad situation into a good one. That's the reason that there are a lot of coaches who end up not finishing the season. We need to turn this situation and players need to perform well in training. I know this is a difficult moment, you can say whatever you want but finally, it's about the players," he signed off.