Manolo was asked how the team came back into the last match after ATK Mohun Bagan scored an early goal. He analysed the game and gave a clear picture of the entire game.
“The first goal was excellent action from ATK Mohun Bagan; perfect nice combination between the players, but of course, when you concede one goal in 12 seconds, all credit to them. But means that you are not focused on the game because practically even without players it is impossible to score one goal in 12 seconds. Then we started the game after the first goal because I think we played a good first half. We reacted very well after we conceded this goal, and finally, in the second half, they played better than us. But finally, we risked and brought in a lot of offensive players. For me, the score was fair; it was a tough game, and it is a good point earned in the last game.“
There is not much difference in the league table between the teams. Every team has an equal chance of making it to the playoffs. Marquez shared the limelight of the situation in the standings.
“Now Mumbai City is at the top, and maybe next day there will be another team at the top. Let’s see; it will be a tough game too. Now we have to be focused on the Kerala Blasters match. They are a team that is in a similar situation to us. Both teams have only lost the first game, and after that game, they are unbeaten in eight games. It will be a tough game for both teams, and I think that the style of both teams is nice to watch during the game.”
Manolo was critical when he was asked about his opinion on pundits questioning his team selection despite praising him for the way the team has played throughout the season.
“I know how football works, it’s true practically from the first day that we arrived at Hyderabad things more or less last season when we didn’t qualify for top four but the season was very good, and now the team continues more or less in the same way, but it’s very difficult. I repeat again we are not among those big teams; we are fighting, and the teams that they have here are very strong financially. For example, we played against a team the other day that took one of our best players from last season, and they can sign a lot of players. I don’t like to speak about this, but we are the team with less budget in the championship, but we are fighting against very strong teams, and I think that if we finish at the top or we finish fifth in the table, there will not be much difference.
“I think that we are very happy with our team, but this is not what it should be now. This is how we must finish at the end of the season. I know for example now if we continue in the same way all the people will be happy with the results of the team and how they play. Still, if now we have a bad second half of the season, for example, then all the team know the the the pressure of performing good and what it brings to you if you can’t deliver satisfying results. Football is like this, and we have to continue and try to finish the season in the middle of the table. Let’s see what happens game by game, and of course, with the fixture that we have to play, it is very hard because now we have to play against strong teams every four days.”
Marquez praised Kerala Blasters and shared his opinion on the team they face in their next game.
“I like the style of Kerala Blasters very much. I like their players and coach. I like their playing style, and they play a very good brand of football. They have three really good offensive foreign players, and when they play with them, they are more dangerous in attack, but they also have good Indian players too. I think that it will be a very difficult game for both teams. Indeed, they didn’t start the season with a good result, but they look like a different side since the win against Mumbai City.
“They are playing good, and even when they are not performing well, they are calm and composed and trying their best. They have a passionate fanbase who always supports the team. I feel it’s good for Indian football that a team like Kerala Blasters is fighting to be at the top.”
He was asked about the teams and how they might play in the match. Below is his response,
“I think that both teams will try to play their style because both teams are playing good football and are unbeaten during the last eight games. The normal thing is that Kerala and Hyderabad don’t change their style for the game, and let’s see what happens. Like I say before every game, both teams will have the possibilities to win; the team who plays better will win the game.”
Manolo is one of the most experienced and respected managers in ISL for his work with Hyderabad FC. He turned the Nizams’ from a bottom finishing side to a playoffs competitor last season. This season they are aiming for more as they currently sit in the second spot. He was asked how he has such a balanced squad and develops his players so quickly. This is what he had to say,
“One of the most important things is the players who are not the starters in the first game because they have to train hard because the 11 players the starters in the first game they have to know that they are players behind fighting because they want to play obviously. This healthy competition for places in the starting lineup helps everyone improve themselves.”
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