Manolo Marquez – We are not the favorites to qualify for playoffs

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Manolo Marquez led Hyderabad FC have completed seven games this season and are lying in fourth place on the table with three wins, three draws and one loss. The Nizams are currently on a six game unbeaten run.

Ahead of the game against Odisha FC, the Gaffer Manolo Marquez addressed the media in a pre-match press conference.

Manolo MarquezHyderabad FC

Back to Back Draws, Injuries

“Four of the last six games in ISL are draws, it’s not just Hyderabad FC’s games, it’s most of the games in the league because every team is equally strong.”

“It’s impossible to play for 20 games without muscle injuries when you play with the same players regularly. ISL needs to do something about it, I understand there are restrictions due to COVID but this compact schedule isn’t helping anyone. Many good players like Rahul KP, Halicharan Narzary are getting injured. Hopefully, next season will be different.”

Upcoming fixture against OFC

“Odisha FC have the best foreigners in the whole tournament even better than the teams on top of the table. They have a very good team but it is difficult to know and understand the league and the clubs in your first season which was the case for me last season”

Comparison with last season

“We are not the favourites to qualify for playoffs like everyone’s saying. We have one of the lowest budgets in the whole tournament. However I know how football works, last season we were very close to finishing in the top four, this season the expectations are higher.”

“If you are fighting till the end and if you finish in the top four it is a great success but if you finish in the fifth place it is different.”

“Hyderabad FC and Jamshedpur FC will fight till the end of this season but we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.”

Pressure on winning games

“Pressure is for the people who are unemployed due to COVID, there is no pressure if you like to play football, if you feel pressure while playing football then you need to try another sport or do something else.”

“I don’t know what is pressure, we play every game to win but it is ridiculous to say you feel pressure if you don’t win every game”

“It is normal to be angry when you lose a game but being calm, balancing the team and becoming consistent is what gets you the win in later games.”

Hyderabad FC’s strong defense

“If we continue being the team which concedes the least goals in the table then there is no doubt we will go to the top four. As a spectator, I wish to watch many goals in a game but as a coach, if you concede many goals and win games with score lines like 5-4, 6-5 it doesn’t help your team.”

“It is not just the defenders and goalkeepers but the whole team is contributing in the defense and that is what made us concede the least number of goals compared to other clubs.”

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