Hyderabad FC defeated ATK Mohun Bagan in the first leg of their historic semi-final on Saturday, the Nizams will be facing the Mariners again for the second leg on Wednesday at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.
Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez addressed the media during the pre-match press conference ahead of their match against ATK Mohun Bagan. Below are his excerpts from the Media Interaction.
Two Goal Advantage
“It was a very tough game, ATKMB played better than us in the first 30 minutes, after the cool break we recovered and we started very well in the second half. We scored two consecutive goals and then at the end of the second half it was difficult to control ATK MB’s attack.”
“Tomorrow’s game will surely be difficult but we will also have our options to qualify.”
Areas to Improve
“I think we need to be braver in the first half, we have few young players on the pitch whereas ATK MB has a lot of experienced players. They were very dangerous, as they have players whose individual actions can decide the game. We have to try to play a normal game and win the game.”
Manolo Marquez’s message to the team in HT break
“We have to be brave, we arrived at the top four and if you are scared you need to change to another sport. Our mentality was very good in the second half and we were scared in the first half.”
“I don’t know if we manage very good defence, we managed very well during the corners. When we played against them in the regular season and lost by 2-1, I was totally convinced that both goals from ATK MB were offside but when I arrived at the hotel and watched the goals, I realized both goals were onside.”
“I guess they had the same type of feeling in the last game, they protested for 4-5 penalties, also called our first goal offside. You don’t know anything from the bench because it is impossible to know if it is offside, or handball. After you rewatch the game you will know the referee does do mistakes but you will realize most of them were correct decisions by the referee.”
Manolo Marquez on ATKMB’s quick attack play
“ATK MB have the same situation as JFC, they need to win with two goals difference, they have to go strong. The team that manages better in this type of situation gets to the final. If ATK MB qualifies tomorrow, I will be the first to congratulate them. It is true that our physical condition in the last game and also against Mumbai was different, if we avoid such instances then it will be better for us.”
Ogbeche’s defensive work
“I am very satisfied with Bart Ogbeche’s work, but sometimes I feel like we only play with Bart Ogbeche. It is impossible to finish in second place on the table with only one player, there are plenty of other players who have contributed a lot. Of course, he is the top scorer and a fantastic player but I think that we don’t need to talk about it every day, he scores goals wherever he goes but I think we have a very good team.”
Preparation in the camp
“I think nobody’s thinking about the final, it’s just like the season, if you are three games away from qualifying and if you think about the points you need to gain to qualify then it is impossible to concentrate on the game.”
“If we qualify we will enjoy because the stadium will be full of crowd, if we can’t we will be disappointed but I think this season has been historical for Hyderabad FC but we are not thinking about the final, we are thinking about the game against ATK MB tomorrow.”
Mohammad Yasir’s growth
“This season was very difficult for Mohammad Yasir, he was very good in the pre-season as he had a great time before pre-season too as he was with the NT camp. When he arrived at the HFC camp he suffered an injury in the game against JFC, this injury was for 45 days, then when he was close to starting playing again he suffered from COVID, after COVID it’s not easy but the normal Yasir is the player who played against ATK MB.”
“We never had doubt on Yasir, all the players had confidence in Yasir. All the teams have bad luck but in some moments we didn’t have both of our key wingers, we lost Halicharan in the first game and then Yasir in the third game due to long term injury.”
Manolo Marquez on Akash Mishra
“Akash is a very important player for us, he is young and he needs to improve in a lot of areas. For me, as I said plenty of times, he is the best left-back. The other day in the box he wasn’t in a correct position when Roy Krishna scored but in other actions he saved us a few times. He had a good game and is one of our best players, but he still has areas to improve.”
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