We played better in the second half: Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez

Hyderabad FC head coach, Manolo Marquez, said the dressing room atmosphere is always happy after winning games, but he demanded his side to win comfortably and not just with small margins, after the defending champions beat Jamshedpur FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, in Jamshedpur, on Wednesday.

Mohammad Yasir's second-half strike helped HFC register their fifth straight win and go seven points clear at the top of the table. The result also meant that HFC ended their winless streak against the Red Miners. Hyderabad FC have now beaten all their opponents in the Hero ISL. 

Marquez was delighted with the performance of his team in the second half after a drab opening half. The Spaniard was also concerned about goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani's injury in the first half, but says the team is confident enough with the reserve keepers. He further shed light on how the game was a bit slow for the fans and the dugout when asked about half-time team talk.

Here are the excerpts from Marquez's post-match press conference:

It is the fifth consecutive win for the team. How is the dressing room atmosphere?

The dressing room is always happy when you win games. But I think it is my obligation to insist (from the team) that we need to keep going and demand more (from ourselves) because winning with such small margins of 1-0 is too dangerous.

We played better in the second half, but Jamshedpur FC had at least two clear chances, especially through Ishan Pandita, to equalise the game. We are happy that after six games we have 16 points, which is a very good return in this league.

What is the injury update on Laxmikant Kattimani?

It is very early to speak about it, and it does not seem to be good. I prefer to say nothing because I might be wrong. He cannot put his foot on the floor, let us see what kind of injury it is. Kattimani is going to be out for some games, that's for sure.

Your team seemed to be more compact in the first half, but in the second half, that was not the case. What did you discuss at half-time?

We played in a 4-4-2 formation in the first half and defended well. But it was too much respect shown by both teams. Practically nothing happened in the first half. We played with Bartholomew Ogbeche and Javier Siverio, maybe we needed more (combination) football in that part of the pitch. Javier Siverio had a good game, but I substituted him for Borja (Herrera). With Borja, we managed to play better in the second half.

During half-time, we discussed nothing but to play our football. In the first half, the game was a little bit boring for the crowd and even for me, while I was on the sidelines. I was watching the game, and nothing much happened. And the way we were playing in the first half, it was not possible to score a goal because we did not create any clear chances.

In the second half, we scored the goal very early, then the other team had to adapt and you have spaces for the counter-attacks when the opposition team tries to stay compact. We defended well in some moments. In this league, when you score first, you have more spaces to attack the opponent. But if you do not score the second goal, then there is always a danger of the game getting equalised.

How tough was it for the team to lose Laxmikant Kattimani in the first half?

It is always tough when you lose a player, more so when it is the goalkeeper. We are confident about Anuj Kumar and Gurmeet Singh. Gurmeet is recovering and travelled for the first time with the team (this season). This is football. In football, there are bans, injuries, and decisions that you have to make about 25 to 26 players.

With this win, you have defeated every team in the Hero ISL. Does that make any difference?

I know this is true, but I did not think about it. Jamshedpur FC are a very difficult team to face. In our previous meetings, I remember we drew 0-0 and 1-1, and in the last game, they won 3-0. It is true we arrived at the best moment than the opponent, and finally we have beaten all the teams in Hero ISL. For us, the important thing is our next game against Kerala Blasters FC.

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